Days after hoodlums attacked Otodo Gbame, a predominantly Egun community in the Lekki Phase 1 area of Lagos State, some women and children have been declared missing by their relatives.
John Avonah, a 65-year-old Egun man, told PUNCH Metro that he had yet to locate his wife, Alice, and his five-year-old twins, Matilenu and Maseri, since the attack.
Avonah, who said his property was also burnt, urged the police and the Lagos State Government to intervene and save them from “continuous attacks.”
Another resident, 32-year-old Felix Hazume, also told our correspondent that he had not seen his wife, Martha Hazume, and his three children.
The children are identified as 13-year-old Oluwasola, Timilehin, 8, and Pelu, 2, since the second attack.
PUNCH Metro had reported on Wednesday that hoodlums launched a fresh attack on the Egun community on Tuesday and set fire to some houses.
Our correspondent had reported that the hoodlums, numbering about 45 persons, came into the area around 11am, with some policemen as escorts.
The ensuing panic reportedly forced some of the residents to jump into the river.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro on Thursday, Avonah, a fisherman, said he could not work again since his wife and children got missing.
He said, “I am still looking for my wife and my two children – twins. I went out for fishing on that day. When I got back, our house was on fire.
“The shirt I am putting on was given to me. All my clothes were burnt to ashes. I was born in Otodo Gbame. All my children were born in that community. Now, I have nowhere to lay my head; I sleep in the boat. I cannot go to work again.”
Also, Azume said, “I have contacted all the government agencies who came to evacuate corpses from our community and they did not find my wife and three children. I am helpless; I cannot go to work because of depression. This oppression by land grabbers is unbearable.”
Our correspondent learnt that a delegation of about 30 persons from the community went to the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos, to register their grievances and to submit a petition to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Aderanti.
A copy of the petition obtained by our correspondent read in part, “In the early hours of November 23, the community came under attack. Residents were attacked with knives, machetes and guns. We have photographs of persons injured from the attack. We urge you to use your good offices to deploy a police squad to secure the lives and property of the people of Otodo Gbame and arrest the hoodlums that continue to openly carry weapons and harass residents.”
A community leader, Celestine Ahisu, who was one of the delegation, said the state government should “carefully investigate the matter and call the powerful hands disturbing the peace” of the community to order.
He said, “The hoodlums wore vests with the inscription, ‘Palace boys,’ at the back. They blocked the road to the community. In the last week violence, our Baale, Hunpe Dansu, was arrested, charged to court and remanded in prison. They accused him of instigating violence in the area.
“I was born in that community. The Egun community had settled on that land for several years and there was no crisis. We want the Lagos State Government to investigate this matter and not allow some powerful persons to sell our land and displace over 30,000 people.
“We suspect that Ilasan and Maroko police divisions have been bought over. We urge the AIG to do something about this.”
The Zone 2 Police public Relations Officer, SP Muyiwa Adejobi, could not be reached for comments as his line rang out.