No fewer than four people have been allegedly killed by the police during a shoot-out with suspected smugglers in Igbogila community in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
One person was said to have sustained gunshot wounds.
The violence, which began on Thursday and went on till Sunday has thrown the residents of the community into a state panic as the hoodlums have threatened to retaliate the deaths of their gang members.
A resident of the community, Akinola Kojekun, told SaharaReporters about the apprehension in the community on Monday while recounting the experience of the last few days.
There was a fight against two rival gangs suspected to be smugglers at Imoto, a neighbourhood close to Igbogila.
It was gathered that one of the members was arrested by the police at Eggua Police Divisional Headquarters, which angered the hoodlums and led to an attack on the police station at Igbogila on Thursday.
“It was not the fault of the policemen. There are two rival groups suspected to be smugglers, and they engaged in a battle due to a misunderstanding,” Kojekun said.
“They caused unrest and the police came to arrest maybe one or two of them and transferred the matter to Eleweran Police Headquarters in Abeokuta. I think other members came to rescue their people or retaliate. They met just one policeman on duty and seized his pistol.
“They came with dangerous weapons and threatened to kill and destroy the station.
“Immediately, they started looting the community and caused panic in the village. It started around 9:00 am on Thursday.
“Even, the policemen later appealed to them in the evening as they were on the rampage and shooting indiscriminately into the air.
“And when the policemen saw that the matter was getting out of hand, they engaged them in a shoot-out, and four of them were killed in the process.”
Kojekun, who is the Assistant Chairman of the Landlords’ Association and the Chairman of the Maize Association of Nigerian Farmers of Ketu Local Council Development Area, said one of them sustained gunshot injuries.
He said a member of the Ogun State House of Assembly representing Egbado North 1 Constituency, Adegoke Adeyanju, was in the community during the crisis and pleaded with the criminal elements, but they refused.
Instead, it was learnt that they threatened to make life miserable for the security agents.
According to Kojekun, the thugs demanded money before they could retreat and even when Adeyanju gave them some cash, they were bent on burning the police station which forced the policemen into fighting.
It was learnt that the police were able to retrieve the gun the hoodlums had seized.
“One of them sustained serious gunshot injuries and according to what I heard, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State is aware of the case.
“It was in my presence that one of these hoodlums took a heavy stone and destroyed the windscreen of a car belonging to a guest of Adegoke Adeyanju. They demanded money before they could retreat, and even when the lawmaker gave them the cash, they refused to go.
“They used a big stone to destroy the car of his guest and were bent on burning the police station. The police had to prevent this, and in the process recovered their pistol.”
Though many arrests have been made and police officers have been deployed from the Ogun State Police Command to secure the community, the residents still in fear of being killed by hoodlums or suspected Fulani herdsmen, who had been kidnapping and killing people in the area.