Pandemonium broke out in the neighbourhood last Wednesday when several members of two notorious rival gangs sustained injuries due to a bloody clash over a stolen handset at Mararaba, a suburb of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Eyewitnesses said that trouble started when some members of one of the gangs allegedly snatched a handset belonging to the leader of the other gang and ran away to their hideout, the angry victim then went to his camp and swiftly mobilized his members, who moved to the hideout of the alleged thief for a showdown.
One of the eyewitnesses, who simply identified himself as Mr. John, said, “The violent gangsters made of youths numbering over 30, marched through the streets and virtually took over the Catholic Church area of Kabayi in broad day light, brandishing machetes and cudgels among other dangerous weapons.”
He disclosed that on sighting the gangsters, residents of the place panicked and some took to their heels while others went into hiding.
Another eyewitness, who craved anonymity, said she watched the attackers through her window as they beat up whoever dared to come close, not minding whether he or she is a member of the rival gang and that the notorious youths attacked an innocent passerby whom they thought belonged to the other camp and gave him a beating.
“The man was lucky not to be killed as some members of the gang later realized he was not their enemy and persuaded others to release him,” she said.
Residents of the area said that all attempts to alert security agents proved abortive as they did not have their help lines, adding that there is no police post nearby where one could quickly run to and lodge complaint.
They therefore, called for police presence to curb the increasing rate of the activities of gangsters and other criminals in the area.