By Evelyn Usman
Ibafo –Ishefun community in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, is gradually losing its vibrancy, owing to what residents described as rape of their girls, particularly teenagers by some hoodlums.
At the moment, girls in the area are prevented from walking alone, particularly at night, as they might end up falling victims of rape.
So far, more than 10 girls were said to have been gang raped by these hoodlums, in two weeks. A recent incident occurred on July 16, 2019, after a 17-year-old girl identified simply as Toyin, was gang raped.
Toyin, was sent on an errand but on her way back home by 9p.m, five rough looking muscular men accosted and dragged her into an uncompleted building, where they took turns to rape her.
A week earlier, another teenager (names withheld) was reportedly raped. Residents said that she was sexually abused right in front of her defenseless parents at Shote Street in the community. This happened few days after two girls were reportedly raped in the community.
A resident, Mrs Dupe Shotayo, alleged that the crime was committed by some hoodlums who called themselves Ishefun boys.
Explaining how she witnessed the rape of a 16-year-old girl, she said, “On the fateful day,I was in my room with my husband when we heard the girl shouting for help. But nobody could go out because the incident occurred in an isolated area. Surprisingly, those behind this atrocity are teenagers between ages of 16 and 18. Some of them were brought to the community from Lagos by their parents to hide, in order to evade arrest after committing crimes there”.
Another resident who simply gave his name as Seun, said, “Everyone knows who these hoodlums are and who their leader is. They usually assembled between 10pm and 11 pm. During such gathering, they would be smoking Indian hemp and nobody would dare confront them.
“One of the girls that turned down their advances, was gang raped right in the presence of her parents. Aside the rape, they also loot people’s shops. Anytime they commit crime, they would disappear and come back after the dust has settled. Three girls who were sexually abused have relocated from the community”, she said.
A lady who claimed to be a victim of rape stated that she was accosted while returning from work by three hoodlums. She said, “When I got to Ishefun Junction, two of the hoodlums ordered me to stop but because I had no business with them, I kept on walking. But they dragged me into the bush. I couldn’t scream as I was gagged. When they were done, they abandoned me in the bush until a motorcyclist who was a member of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC passed by and took me to my house from where I was rushed to the hospital”. As at Thursday, the hoodlums were said to have fled the community, after news of their recent act spread round.
When asked if the case had been reported to the Police, one of the residents, Mr Ogunbodede Adebisi, said yes. He however, said, “ Whenever we report to the Police at Ibafo division, arrest would be effected. But these hoodlums would be seen on the street again, doing what they know how to do best.
When the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, was contacted, he said, “I don’t believe that the case was reported to the Police because the Divisional Police Officer in Ibafo is a no nonsense policeman. He has arrested several hoodlums, majority of whom have been prosecuted He is one of the most upright DPO’s . Besides, rape offence is not a matter that is treated at the divisional level, such case is transferred to the state command”.