To ensure the safety of lives and properties, landlords and tenants in Ogun State are taking extraordinary measures to protect themselves from armed robbers terrorising the various communities in the state.
Almost all the three zones in Ogun State have reported cases of armed robbery in the past few days.
The surge in cases of armed robbery, DAILY POST learned, is not unconnected with the COVID-19 lockdown, which has prevented many youths from going about their normal businesses.
DAILY POST recalls that the robbery attacks started last week in communities within Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota Local Governments, spreading into neighbouring Lagos States.
The Ogun State police command has since swung into action by arresting about 150 suspected cultists and armed robbers, as Governor Dapo Abiodun threatened death sentence.
It appears the ugly activities of the Ifo and Ado-Odo/Ota hoodlums spread to other communities in Ogun.
Today, residents of Abeokuta, the state capital, can no longer sleep at night, for fear of being attacked by armed robbers, DAILY POST gathered.
As learned by our correspondent, landlords and their tenants now stay outside with bonfires, awaiting the arrival of armed robbers.
Across different social media platforms, alarms of robbery attacks are being raised by residents, calling the attention of the police to the affected areas.
In Owode-Yewa area of the state, residents were said to have resorted to using Oro cult to combat the suspected armed robbers, who reportedly go out day and night to dispossess people of their money and belongings.
A resident, Otunba Sanusi Adeniyi, in an open letter to Gov Abiodun said: “The spate of insecurity within Abeokuta is alarming, at this crucial time we can’t continue to have our people locked down in the day and the fear of armed robbers chases them out in the night.
“Nose covering, social distancing and some other COVID-19 precautionary measures are being jettisoned in the attempt to keep safe from robbery attacks.
“Your Excellency, this is a call to charge you. I know you are on your feet always finding better ways to serve the people. But, that should be as swift as possible because hunger with anger spells doom, and the attending unrest is what I don’t pray for this administration.
“Political profit makers are on standby, disappoint them and make some of us proud of you again. I know this phase too shall pass.”
Also, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Ogun State Civil Service (name withheld) raised the alarm that there was a robbery in Asero Housing Estate, adding that police chased the suspected robbers away when alerted.
But, in all of these, the Ogun State Police Command said it is doing everything necessary to protect lives and properties in the state.
The police said many of the armed robbery distress calls have turned out to be false, urging residents to stay calm and be sure of whatever alarm they want to raise.
The Ogun State Police Spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said: “All this panicking calls without concrete evidence is more dangerous than COVID-19. We have been receiving this type of calls since 5days ago and nearly all of the calls are found to be mere apprehension.
“If you are in doubt, let them identify one person who is a victim of this so-called robbery. The panicking calls started from Ifo, later Agbado, then Sango.
“I received calls that robbers were operating in Awowo and that they will soon invade Obada Oko. Up till now, nobody in those communities can say he or she has sighted anything like an armed robber,” Oyeyemi said.
However, the police image maker released phone numbers of all the DPOs, Area Commanders and heads of tactical officers under Ogun Police Command to the general public, in case of any distress call.
Meanwhile, Oyeyemi has indirectly confirmed the presence of hoodlums in Ogun communities as he called on individuals or groups to seek police protections while distributing food items to the poor and the less privileged in the state.
Oyeyemi, in a statement on Wednesday, said:
“In view of the lockdown order given by the Federal government of Nigeria to checkmate the spread of the deadly Coronavirus also known as COVID 19, it has been observed that various organizations, religious bodies, NGOs, corporate organizations as well as public-spirited individuals have been providing food items to the vulnerable members of the public to ameliorate their suffering while the lockdown lasts.
“The Ogun State police command, to prevent the good gestures of these philanthropic people from being hijacked by hoodlums, hereby wishes to appeal to those with such good intention to liaise with the DPO of their respective areas whenever they want to go about distributing such materials to afford the police the opportunity of providing security cover for them during the process of distribution.
“This becomes imperative to prevent the distribution of such palliative materials from degenerating to 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.”