Residents of Igando area of Lagos State are still in shock over the unforeseen bedlam that rocked the area when some militants locked horns against the police for seven hours on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, around 8 am killing 3 policemen of the Igando Police Division and injuring some residents.
The armed militants gained entry into the community around 6 am through the waterways behind the estate around 6 am and took their time to patiently empty some of the shops in the area before the arrival of a police team from Igando division around 8 am.
During the encounter, two residents were injured and three policemen attached to the Igando Police Division were killed while one of the policemen was shot in the head but survived and is in a government hospital receiving intensive treatment.
The gunmen abducted passersby around the Pacific Estate at the time of their operation rendering four streets– Ojo Benjamin, Kehinde Ashafa, Ganiyu Adekunle and Ikejiobi streets isolated.
One of the landlords in the area who witnessed the unfortunate scenario alleged that there were women among the militants. He recounts the happening: “The attacks started in Fatoki community, Igando, on Saturday. We did not know it was our turn this morning (Tuesday). At about6.30am, they came into the estate, shooting and moving around the streets.
“Everyone ran inside and bolted the doors. They caught a resident, Baba Victor, on his motorcycle, and took him away. They cut him with machetes, but he escaped during the gun battle with the police.
“They smashed the vehicles they found on the streets. They broke into shops and stole frozen foods, bags of rice and garri. They were about 15 men. The hoodlums did not cover their faces and there were women among them. Some of us were watching them from our houses.”
Another woman explaining what she saw said: “I was sweeping the corridor of my house around 6.30am when people suddenly started running, saying some hoodlums were coming with guns. Immediately I bolted my door, the gunshots started. From the keyhole, I saw four of the men. A boy of about 20 years was in the front. He wore a red cap with coconut in his hand and a charm on his chest. The three others had guns and shot into the air sporadically.”
According to a policeman who was at the waterside, “The attackers are Ijaw youths. They are young, slim and can easily swim away in water. They shot at us and three policemen were injured. They saw us and laid an ambush. When we got to a section of the river, they began to shoot. We replied the bullets. But three policemen were hit and injured.”
It took the efforts of security operatives to rescue the situation. Thirteen police vans, two Rapid Response Squad armoured tanks and three OP MESA vans; the militants, said to be from Ijaw escaped through the water around 3pm.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, Dolapo Badmos, though the Police is yet to make any arrest with regards to the unfortunate mishap, calm has returned to the community and people are now seen going about their usual activities.
– ‘Seyifunmi Adebote for encomium.ng