“When a man is pushed to the wall, he is left with no option than to react.” This popular saying captures the plight of residents of the Millennium Citi Centre Estate, in Gbagada area of Lagos.
Residents of the area are angry following alleged incessant onslaught of terror, injustice and attacks by thugs
and policemen in their community. They have called on the inspector-general of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to come to their aid and stem the brigandage being unleashed on them.
Narrating their ordeal to Daily Sun, during their protest recently, the residents alleged that thugs and police
invasion of their neighbourhood was being sponsored by six family factions that suddenly sprang up claiming
ownership of the plots of land in the community.
“In the last 10 years, we have successfully organised ourselves as peace-loving, responsible and hardworking Nigerians who use their hard earned resources to not only build their homes but the necessary infrastructure,”
said Mr. Paul Odofin, chairman of the task force unit of the community.
“But having developed the area and now made it attractive through our collective efforts, various families have come out from nowhere with bogus claims of ownership of the community.”
Odofin disclosed that the first attack on their community occurred in April 2017, when a faction of the family whom majority of the residents acquired their land from misguided the police in a phantom petition titled
“Threat to Life.”
He alleged that: “A detachment of policemen from Alagbon, Homicide Section, arrested the supervisor of our private guard along with two men employed by the community. They were held in detention for five days. While
they were away, our hitherto serene estate was invaded and overrun by hoodlums who unleashed terror on us.
“As fallout of that incident, we formally applied to the IGP to provide us with armed mobile policemen. He
granted our request and we enjoyed the services of the two personnel.
“Again on September 13, 2018, another faction from another family connived with officers and men from the
IGP Monitoring Unit, based in Abuja, and invaded our community. Our estate security supervisor, Iyeke William,
and some of his men were arrested, brutalised and handcuffed. Posters with the insignia of the police and inscription that ‘this land belongs to IGP’ were brandished. Then Iyeke and the rest were ordered at gunpoint to pose with pictures of the posters as a backdrop.
“There is an apparent effort to cover up this brazen illegality by men and officers of the Nigeria Police from the
IGP Monitoring Unit, Abuja. And due to our outcry in media over the shameful act, the police gave us another shocker.
Iyeke, together with Julius Babasola, a barber in our community, where paraded like common criminals on NTA News on Friday night, September 21, 2018, with the allegations that they were impersonating the IGP. This is wrong. We cannot take it any longer. That is why we are calling on the IGP to come to our aid.”
A resident and public relations officer of the estate, Mr. Adedayo Olukoya, complained about how their peace has been eroded by the activities of thugs and policemen: “We have different omo onile (owners of the land) from
the various families fighting over our community.
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All the families have militias that invade the estate and engage one another in supremacy battles. We do not want to be caught in the middle of this tug of war among them. They all have various lawsuits against/among them that are yet to be decided at the courts; yet, they resort to self-help to claim ownership.
“Our position is for all the various warring families to wait for the final outcome of the various pending lawsuits.
“We, therefore, beckon on the IGP to intervene urgently by directing the release of the persons being illegally
detained since September 13 and instructing officers and men of the Nigeria Police to stop lending themselves
to be used for brazen illegality.”