..How kidnappers selected their victims – residents
By Evelyn Usman, Bose Adelaja, Monsur Olowoopejo Joseph Undu & Sharonrose Robert
Ikorodu—FOLLOWING Sunday attacks by kidnappers-cum militants in Yewa, Isawo community in Ikorodu area of Lagos State, which left four policemen, an Army Captain, a landlord and a member of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, dead, the Senate, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to deploy helicopters and gunboats to the area.
The Senate also called for deployment of the military to troubled spots in riverine areas of Lagos and Ogun states with a view to forestalling a recurrence of Sunday’s onslaught on security operatives by militants.
The demand was made in a motion by Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC/Lagos East) at the plenary, which the lawmakers unanimously adopted and granting the prayers, which include to “advise the Federal Government to direct the Inspector General of Police to immediately instruct the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, to beef up the strength of the task force already on ground in order to effectively secure all the affected creeks and communities.”
Other prayers are to; “Advise the Federal Government to direct the Inspector General of Police to immediately make available sufficient helicopters for aerial surveillance and gunboats to the Marine Police department of the Lagos State Police Command, in order to enable the state command effectively tackle the activities of the militants.
“Urge the army, navy and other security agencies to assist the Nigeria Police in its quest to rid Lagos State, particularly the creeks in Lagos East Senatorial District, of criminal syndicates making use of its waterways to perpetuate crime.”
Moving the motion, Ashafa said the Senate noted “with urgent and grave concern” the recent increase in the activities of criminal syndicates” who, he said, specialised in kidnapping and carrying out militant activities in Kosofe, Epe, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki local councils of the state.
He said: “The Senate is alarmed that the recent kidnap incidents have assumed a totally new and disturbing dimension in the sense that just yesterday, 9th April, 2017, a Nigerian Army captain identified as Muhammed, two other soldiers, four policemen and a civilian lost their lives after suspected militants attacked Isawo in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.”
How we were attacked – Residents
Also yesterday, the affected residents spoke about their ordeals in the hands of the militants.
From their narration during the visit of the newly posted Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of zone 2, Onikan, Adamu Ibrahim, it was revealed that the kidnappers took time to choose their abducted victims.
They were said to have questioned residents on their means of livelihood and schools their children attended. Those who worked in choice places and those whose children attended private schools with high tuition fees were taken while others with poor means of livelihood were allowed to go back home.
A resident, whose brother was killed during the kidnappers’invasion said: “They went from house to house, knocking at residents doors, asking them for their places of work, the schools their children attended and how many cars they had.
After identifying their targets, they separated them from others before asking them to be on a straight line and march towards the creeks. That was when security operatives, who were alerted came and rescued the kidnapped victims. But unknown to them, the kidnappers had regrouped and ambushed them when they were about leaving the scene.’’
In his response, the AIG informed that the essence of his visit was to assess the area to know the extent of damage as well as plan how to forestall a recurrence.
The AIG also visited one of the entrance points into the creek called Wood Island where the militants used to keep their captives.
Police spit fire
Meanwhile, addressing newsmen at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters earlier, the command boss, Fatai Owoseni, vowed to get those behind Sunday’s mayhem at Yewa, no matter what it would cost the Police.
He confirmed that the Divisional Police Officer in-charge of Owutu division sustained gunshot injuries but was quick to add that he had long been discharged from the hospital. However, he said a Non-commissioned Officer (NCO), who was also injured is still receiving treatment.