Vehicle loaded with foodstuff somersaults in an attempt to escape from hoodlums
Police arrest seven suspects
Provide cover for religious bodies, others during distribution of palliatives
By Evelyn Usman
A police officer attached to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Squad, IRT was attacked Tuesday, by some armed youths who have hijacked the lockdown directive to unleash mayhem on helpless Nigerians, at Baruwa area of Alimosho, Lagos.
But the officer said to have put up an act of bravery, ended up arresting seven suspected members of the gang, with the assistance of policemen from Area ‘P’ Command, Alagbado/Abesan and some of his colleagues, who were mobilized.
This is just as a vehicle loaded with foodstuff somersaulted, on Wednesday, at Jakande Estate, Oke-Afa, Isolo, in an attempt to escape from some armed youths said to have barricaded the road.
One of the traders, a woman with an undisclosed identity, who sustained a severe injury, was rushed to the hospital, while others, including the driver, sustained minor injuries.
Information at Vanguard disposal had it that the police officer was driving home when he drove into the miscreants.
An eye witness who gave her name as Mrs. Yetunde Olugbemiga, said, “ the hoodlums ordered him to stop but he refused. They started hitting his vehicle with sticks and rods, in order to force him to stop but he kept moving and was making calls at the same time. He drove for a while and stopped.
“In no time, some policemen stormed the area. The hoodlums did not know that the first set was policemen because they were in a private vehicle. By the time they realized who their guests were, it was too late, as some of them were arrested while others escaped. It was after they were arrested that we realized that the man earlier attacked and injured, was a policeman”.
Police sources confirmed that the suspects were whisked to the IRT office in Ikeja.
Elsewhere in Jakande estate, Oke-Afa, a vehicle loaded with foodstuff, somersaulted in the driver’s bid to escape an attack from some hoodlums said to have sprung out of their hiding on sighting the vehicle.
When Vanguard arrived at the scene at Vulganizer bus-stop, Falowo, inward Bucknor, the food items which included tubers of yams, tomatoes, vegetables among others, littered the road.
The driver of the vehicle who refused to mention his name explained that “ as I was driving down at about 5 am, some armed boys came out from nowhere, flashed torchlight to flag me down. In my bid to avoid running into them, I swerved the steering and the next is history”.
Some of the estate youths who concluded that those who caused the accident could be hoodlums promised to keep vigil throughout yesterday until the lockdown would be over. They also vowed to fish out perpetrators of the act.
A drive around some parts of Lagos revealed that youths in most communities were still keeping vigil, to repel hoodlums and cultists who have hijacked the lockdown situation to attack defenseless Lagosians.
But a new dimension of harassment of Lagosians has been introduced to the burn fire method, as miscreants forcefully collect money from motorists who are forced to slow down on reaching the spots. Any motorist who tires to put up resistance, ends up having his windscreen smashed.
Such shoddy activities were observed at Abule-Egba, Ijaye and Idimu areas of the state.
But the Police said they have emplaced other security measures to prevent such attacks, especially during the distribution of palliatives to Lagosians by private organizations.
To this effect, policemen will henceforth monitor such distribution.
At the Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area of the Lagos, yesterday, a team of policemen were sighted monitoring the distribution of food items to over 300 residents in the densely populated area, by the Resurrection Praise Ministries International, popularly known as Jehovah Sharp-Sharp.
The distribution attracted the good, bad and the ugly in the environment, but the presence of the security agents prevented hoodlums from carrying out any act of criminality as the General Overseer of the Ministry, Archbishop Samson Benjamin Mustapha, personally distributed the items to the teeming population.
In Ogun State, the Police, called on religious bodies, corporate organizations and Non Governmental Organisations who intend to distribute food items to the public to always inform them for security cover.
Spokes man for the command, DSP Abimbola Oyeleye, in a statement made available to Vanguard, said, “ In view of the lockdown order by the Federal government, to checkmate the spread of the deadly Corona-virus, it has been observed that various organizations, religious bodies, N.G.O as well as public-spirited individuals have been providing food items to the vulnerable members of the public in order to ameliorate their sufferings while the lockdown lasts.
“In order to prevent the good gestures of these philanthropists from been hijacked by hoodlums, the command, hereby, appeals to those with such good intention to liaise with the Divisional Police Officers of their respective areas whenever they want to go about distributing such materials, so as to afford the police an opportunity of providing security cover for them during the process.
“This becomes imperative in order to prevent the distribution of such palliative materials from degenerating into a free- for- all and break down of law and order. It will also prevent hoodlums from hijacking the process which may defeat the primary aim of the donors.
The Commissioner of Police, CP Kenneth Ebrimson has directed all DPOs to always provide adequate security at the venue of such distribution”.