Plying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at night is like walking through the valley of the shadow of death. A lot of people have been attacked on the long bridge along the expressway by hoodlums many people believed to be herdsmen residing in Kara area, at the Ogun State end of the bridge.
On July 6, Brig. Gen. Sylvester Iruh (retd.) was stabbed to death by some hoodlums who swooped on him and others when they attempted to change a flat tyre on the bridge around 6:30pm.
Penultimate Sunday in the same area, some passengers travelling in a 14-seater bus from Ile-Ife, Osun State, were attacked when their bus broke down on the bridge around 7:30pm.
One of the victims is a pharmacist with one of the Federal Medical Centres in the northern part of the country. The pharmacist, who was on official duty at FMC, Lagos, did not want his identity to be revealed for security reasons.
He said as soon as the passengers alighted from the bus, some men numbering about 10 emerged from the bush near the bridge and swooped on them.
The victim said, “Immediately, all passengers took to their heels and ran in different directions. But unfortunately I could not run because I have a health challenge. They concentrated on me and beat me thoroughly.
“They robbed me of all my belongings, including valuable documents. Thereafter, they stabbed me and I was bleeding profusely. After they left me, I walked to a filling station on the expressway where I met some riot policemen guarding the station.
“I told them about my ordeal but they said they could not leave the station because they were asked to guard the place. They directed me to Ibafo Police Division. At the station, the policemen on duty said there was nothing they could do either.
“They said they had killed quite a number of the hoodlums but they kept regrouping and unleashing mayhem on those plying the road. The policemen took me to a private hospital in the area where I was treated.
“I was not having any money on me but the doctor agreed to save my life after I had identified myself as a pharmacist. He charged me N10,000 and also lent me N1,000 from which I took a bus to Lagos. He then gave me his account number.”
The victim, who spoke with our correspondent on the phone, said the next day, he went to a branch of his bank in Lagos and after explaining his ordeal to the bank manager, he was allowed to use withdrawal slip to withdraw from his account and paid N11, 000 into the doctor’s account.
He said as soon as he got to his base, he blocked his three telephone lines and was reconnected on Wednesday.
He said as soon as one of the lines became active, a man called him from Kano State on Friday claiming that his brother had been calling him with the line for about three days.
The pharmacist said the man, who spoke in Hausa, called him with 08020511*** and insisted that his brother owned the line.
He said he later told the man that he was attacked on his way to Lagos by some hoodlums and suspected that the caller’s brother was among his attackers.
The pharmacist said, “Immediately I told him what happened, he dropped the line. After a while, he beeped me with the same number and I called him back. I told him that his brother was among those who attacked me. But he said ‘the boys are not as bad as I painted them.’”
The victim said since he had the caller’s number and was willing to release it to security agents, it should not be difficult to apprehend him since all lines were registered by service providers.
He said once the caller from Kano is apprehended, it would not be difficult to arrest those who attacked him on the bridge, adding that the documents he lost were too vital to let go.
Besides, he said he was now worried because since the man called him, he had been “receiving strange calls.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Ogun State Command, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, advised the victim to report back at the police station and gave the number of the caller from Kano to the Divisional Police Officer.
“There is a way the police can get the call log so that the caller can be located and arrested,” he said.