THERE was confusion at the North campus of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday, as no fewer than six cars were stolen before dawn.
The vehicles, according to a source, were three Honda cars, Honda CRV, Nissan Primera and Peugeot.
The robbers, numbering about 12, were suspected to have arrived on the campus on Wednesday evening and waited till all the car owners had parked and left before carrying out their operation.
It was further learnt that the robbers were, however, unsuccessful in their attempt to steal another Toyota Camry belonging to Tade Oludayo of Silverbird Communications and another Honda CRV, whose doors and ignitions they badly vandalised.
The stolen vehicles were said to belong to residents of Apete community, who had chosen to park their vehicles inside the polytechnic campus, owing to the construction of the bridge connecting the community to the mainstream hinterland.
The Polytechnic, Ibadan, has consequently become a convenient place for the residents, who park their cars around the Olori Annexe Students Hall, Rector’s Lodge and beside the pedestrian gate linking the polytechnic with Apete.
Owing to the invasion of their campus by Apete car owners, The Polytechnic Ibadan Security unit, it was said, usually ran out of tally cards and usually allowed cars into the campus, without the issuance of tally.
When contacted, the institution’s Public Relations Officer, Alhaji Soladoye Adewole, confirmed the car theft but said that the stolen vehicles did not belong to any staff of the institution.
He said the stolen vehicles belonged to residents of Apete who had parked their vehicles on the institution’s premises as a result of logistics problem but without the consent of the authorities.
He said that the institution did not have the resources to secure the number of vehicles parked on the institution’s premises.
Those who lost their cars were left in disbelief, as they searched even the gutters to be sure their cars had been stolen.
The residents of the community have, therefore, called on the state government to make the Ajibode access road motorable to reduce insecurity in the area as well as increase security patrol of the area.
In another development, there was stampede in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, on Thursday, as a gang of robbers stormed a branch of one of the new generation banks and a bureau de change, with a shoot-out ensuing between the robbers and the police.
The report of the robbery incident and the sound of sporadic gunshots forced many traders to close their shops, as commercial activities became paralysed for several hours.
The robbers, who stormed the bank located on the Gbongan/Ibadan road between 12 noon and 1.00 p.m, were prevented from gaining access into the banking hall, due to the resistance put up by men of the security agencies attached to the bank.
The robbers had, earlier in the day, operated at Sabo area of the town, where they robbed the bureau de change.
According to a source, the robbers and policemen exchanged gunshots for about an hour and, in the process, an unidentified police officer sustained injury.
Though the state of health of the affected police officer could not be ascertained at the time of filing this report, an unconfirmed report said the police officer later died in the hospital, where he was rushed for treatment.
An eyewitnesses said the robbers stormed the bank in a black SUV and a Nissan Primera car, some few minutes to 12 noon and attempted to gain entrance into the banking hall.
Another account said men of the State Security Services (SSS) joined forces with the police to prevent the robbers from gaining access into the banking hall.
The robbers were said to have turned back, after their efforts to gain access into the banking hall failed, shooting sporadically into the air to scare people away.
Attempts to get the reaction of the police on the incident failed, as calls made to the phone of the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs Folashade Odoro, were not going through.