At least, over six persons were injured in the early hours of Thursday, when some armed robbers invaded Jamade Street, a sub-community of Apete in Ido Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Tontrends gathered that the robbers numbering about twenty (20) invaded the community inflicting deep matchet cuts on no fewer than six persons and carted away valuable properties.
Sources in the community stated that the robbers arrived around 1 a.m. and robbed over ten houses, including the House of Deputy Photo Editor of the Guardian Newspaper, Mr Najeem Raheem, whose son, Faruk fainted as a result of the iron rod used on him by the men of the underworld when he put up resistance.
It was learnt that the Guardian Photographer escaped by the whiskers from the attackers but the wife was not that lucky as she was matcheted on her hand by the armed robbers.
It was gathered that a students’ hostel was also attacked in the area where no fewer than four students sustained matchet cuts, with others inflicted with other varying degrees of injuries.
A resident said that the police were called severally but did not get to the location until the armed robbers left the community, even though the distance between the Divisional Police Station, Apete to the crime scene should not take more than five minutes around that time.
It was gathered from residents that the House of an Islamic cleric who rears cows in the neighborhood, Alhaji Adekunle, the house of a Lead City lecturer and that of another staff of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) were among those robbed.
Some of the victims stated that the thieves, mostly young men, distributed themselves to the houses, stealing laptops, phones and cash and also destroyed valuables.
The residents stated that the entire Apete, and particularly Yidi-Arola, Ariyibi, Olomo, Araromi, Wajawaja and other communities in the area have been under attacks by thieves since the partial lockdown of Oyo State due to coronavirus pandemic.
They called for security deployment to the area.
A resident said, “The police that came were even blaming residents, asking them where they got the phones that were stolen by the thieves. This is the least we expected from the Police who said they are our friends. In fact some people called the emergency number, 615 released by the government. We didn’t get a response. In this community alone no fewer than 40 houses have been attacked with not less than 30 persons sustaining all sorts of injuries after losing valuables in the last one month”.
Another resident said, “I called the police several times, I called Agbowo, Sango and Eleyele, it was not successful. I called Iyaganku several times, they did not pick. When they picked, they said that some people blocked the road”.
Dayo Ojelaru, one of those who sustained matchet cuts on his legs described the experience as harrowing.
Faruk Najeem, the son of the Guardian deputy Photo Editor has, however, been revived as of the time of filing this report.
His father said, “I thank God I didn’t lose my son and wife. They came in through the fence and stormed my compound. My wife sustained a matchet cut and my son was hit with iron causing him to lose consciousness. We called the police but the response was not encouraging. The Commissioner of Police needs to deploy more teams to the Apete community and Yidi-arola for regular patrol.
“These are serial attackers. We can’t sleep with our eyes closed anymore. Governor Makinde also needs to see to this rising insecurity. We have turned ourselves to night guard. We are suffering from a bad economy and the government must protect us. We need more police presence in Apete, Yidi-arola and Ariyibi. A good government must be able to protect the lives and properties of her citizens”.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report all efforts to get the comments of the Public Relations Officer of the State Police command on the ugly incident proved futile.