Residents of Papa Olorunda Victorious Community in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State have raised the alarm over incessant robbery attacks.
This is just as a 15-year-old girl was raped and beaten up by a hoodlum in the area in broad daylight last Thursday.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the hoodlums usually operate in groups and move around on motorcycles.
According to the residents, the hoodlums had raped three women in the past one month while many men had been beaten and robbed.
One of the victims, who identified himself simply as Alao, said the culprits usually lay ambush for their victims.
He said, “I was returning from work on Friday around 7pm. I just alighted at the bus stop by Ascon Trailer Park and as I was walking through Taiwo Eyinade Street, three hoodlums attacked me.
“I engaged them in a struggle and started shouting for help. They wanted to snatch my phone but I wrestled with them. When they thought people were coming, they fled.”
The 15-year-old girl was not as lucky as she was raped and beaten to a pulp by a hoodlum.
The girl was still receiving treatment when our correspondent visited her residence at Amazing Grace area of the community.
She said, “Around 11am, my mother sent me to the market and as I reached Taiwo Eyinade Street, near Ascon Trailer Park, one man walking in the opposite direction, held me by the neck.
“I tried to engage him in a struggle but he overpowered me. I started shouting for help hoping someone would hear me since it was broad daylight but no one came. He punched me in the face several times and then dragged me into the bush.
“He raped me until I became unconscious as he placed his hand on my neck thereby preventing me from breathing. He then fled. After sometime, I tried to stand up but I couldn’t. It was some passersby that later helped me.”
The victim’s mother told our correspondent that two other women had been raped in like manner in the past. She said it had become necessary for policemen to patrol the area.
Our correspondent learnt that due to the frequent attacks, some residents had put together a neighbourhood watch to address the security challenge.
It was observed that some of the bushes in the area had been cleared in order to prevent hoodlums from hiding there.
The community, which has five sub-communities, is said to accommodate over 20,000 residents.
Chairman of one of the Community Development Associations, Mr. Abiodun Ogunlana, said due to the increased police presence along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, many of the hoodlums had started operating in the interiors.
Ogunlana said, “It was only recently that the problem began. People leaving for work around 6.30am started complaining that they were being attacked by hoodlums operating on bikes.
“We’ve reported at Ibafo Station and police have said they would investigate. However, I think we need a police post in the area because the community is large.
“The state government should note that many hawkers, okada riders and even hoodlums have fled from Lagos and are relocating to Ogun State.”
Ogunlana said about 10 cases of robbery and rape had been recorded in the past two months in the community.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for the state command, Muyiwa Adejobi, said the communities fall under Ibafo and Mowe police divisions.
He said when he contacted the Divisional Police Officers of the stations, they denied knowledge of such attacks.
Adejobi said, “The people need to be sensitised on reporting such crimes to the police rather than keeping mum. I have however sent a message to the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, and he has ordered that the matter should be investigated.”