By Olalekan Bilesanmi
One week after a deadly attack on Atan Ota, Ogun State by land grabbers, traumatised residents have begged Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the state police command for increased security in the area to prevent reoccurrence.
One person was alleged to have been shot and some houses demolished in Egando Kajola Abanise (Gbayunreland) by the attackers.
The assailants were believed to be working for a family laying claim to the land expanse of land in the area.
The rival family from which residents of the area said they bought their parcels of land disputed the claim.
The residents said the land grabbers, allegedly led by a former police officer, had been terrorising them for months before the attack of penultimate Saturday.
According to them, the assailants first struck in the early hours of that Saturday, ordering that work should stop on all houses under construction in the area.
“They left only to return in the afternoon and that was when all hell was let loose. They unleashed terror shooting indiscriminately and demolishing structures under construction. It was during the shooting that one of our people was shot”, one of the residents told Sunday Vanguard.
The shot victim, identified as Lateef Jimoh, was said to have been rushed to a nearby hospital where several bullets were reportedly removed from his body.
One of the residents confided in our reporter that up to 10 bullets were removed from the victim’s body.
The attack, it was learnt, was reported to the Onipanu divisional police station, Ota and the local police station at Atan although it was not clear if any action was taken on the report.
In a petition to the Area Commander of the police, Sango Ota, dated, October 10, 2018, the residents had pleaded with police to secure the neighbourhood following incessant harassment by the land grabbers.
In the petition, titled, Report on the so-called hired landowner fighters in our area (Gbayunreland) Egando Kajola Abanise in Ado Odo/Ota LGA, three leaders of the Mega Grace Community Development Association, who signed on behalf of the residents, said land grabbers had been threatening them for weeks, saying they bought their land from the legitimate owners/family.
Some of the residents, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard, begged Governor Amosun and the police leadership in Ogun State to wade into the crisis before it gets out of hand.
“We beg our amiable Governor Amosun and the state police commissioner to intervene in this matter because the situation the matter has taken, we fear for our lives. We no longer sleep with our two eyes closed before of the frequency of the attacks. We believe one of the ways the attacks can end is to bring to book those behind the latest invasion which left one of us shot to serve as deterrent”, a community leader said.
Meanwhile, the Area Commander of Sango Ota of the Nigeria Police reportedly met with leaders of the community last Thursday and promised to secure the area while bringing to book the land grabbers who invaded the area and looking into the claims on land in the area.
“We believe the Area Commander can secure the area and resolve the issues. Our fear is only that the Area Commander has to demonstrate the capacity to do so especially since the leader of the land grabbers is believed to be a former police officer and may want to use his position to influence the case”, one of the leaders of the CDA said.