Kill 5, including 3 night guards
Rape wife in husband’s presence
Residents of Iju-Ishaga, a border community between Lagos and Ogun States, have in the last three months been under the siege
of robbery attacks, believed to have been masterminded by a cult group known as ‘Awawa.’
Almost like the Ikorodu case of the Badoo fame, Awawa members comprise young men and women in their 20s, early 30s and even teenagers, who gambol around the neighbourhood between 7pm and 8pm daily, to dispossess revellers aT joints, beer parlours or functions.
They move around with dangerous weapons like guns, cutlasses, daggers, clubs, cudgels and, according to sources, dangerous charms.
But the activities of the ‘awawa boys’ have now reached a deadly dimension, as they rob residents of the area virtually on a daily basis. Two months ago, in an all-night operation in the Ogun State-axis of the border community of Okeayo/Odunbaku Ishaga, they killed a security guard and a resident, during which they dispossessed their victims and injured many of them.
Only last week too , the awawa robbers were at it again, as they, in only one night, killed three persons and robbed no fewer than 18 homes; a bloody outing that made many residents to flee the area.
Two night guards were reportedly killed, in what seemed a deliberate ploy to kill off all the night guards and gain unhindered access to their victims.
One of the nightguards, a sexagenarian identified as Yusuf but who was mostly known as Baba Elehoro, was said to have been tied to a stake and shot dead. Anguished residents gathered the following day to watch the horrific scene.
Another of the nightguards, said to be a brother-in-law to the owner of an Ikeja, Lagos-based television station, also evoked much pity. Widely known as Engineer, being a welder, the man was also a housing agent but chose to take to the night guard job for vocation. He was said to have been gunned down and then, sliced with machetes, by his traducers.
While raiding at night, it was learnt that a man was asked to part with money or his wife would be raped but that even though he had N50, 000 at home, he insisted he was broke. One of the robbers then raped his wife in his presence, a situation that saddened the woman and made her pack out of the house and file for a divorce.
“Up till now, her church pastor has been appealing to her to change her mind, all to no avail,” a source disclosed.
Infuriated by the constant robbery cases, many residents of the area said they were displeased with the police in both the Lagos and Ogun State Commands, saying, “They are treating us here as nobody, and they are fond of extorting money rather than attend to their primary responsibility of providing security for the people.”
A community leader in the area, who craved anonymity, said the police division in Ajuwon, Ogun State, which was supposed to provide security for residents of Okeeayo/Odunbaku community, claimed they were ignorant of the fact that the area was within their jurisdiction.
“It was after we had lost five lives that they suddenly realised that they were in charge of our area and they came to make some arrests,” the leader said.
Also, another resident who would not like to be quoted for fear of awawa boys’ reprisal, complained of “the non-challance of anti-riot policemen from the Iju (red house) division to constantly patrol our area, even if only the Lagos side of the divide, at night.”
He said it was more appalling realising that the Community Development Associations of the areas made monthly contributions to assist the police with logistics.
The residents, as such, called on both Governors Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos and his Ogun counterparts, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, “to come to our aid before these awawa buys destroy all of us.”
When contacted, a senior police officer at Ajuwon Police Division, Ogun State, who craved anonymity, confided in our correspondent that the divisional police officer of the Ajuwon division had met with his counterpart in Iju, Lagos State, with a view to embarking on joint night patrols of the volatile areas