WE later visited one of the community leaders, the Araba of Ebute Ipakodo, Chief Ifagbenro Amoo, who also witnessed it all as it happened on that fateful day…
On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, there was a terrible robbery in this community. How did you feel when you received the news?
It was a very bad and shocking incident. Not that I was told, I saw it all. Those hoodlums suddenly arrived in the morning and immediately they landed, they started shooting everywhere around Zenith and First Bank. But we thank God, they didn’t kill anybody. It was like a war situation. In fact, I never heard that kind of gun shots in my life. People started scampering for safety. The gun shots were per second. Many people were forced to remain indoor for more than an hour, until they’re done. It’s only those of us that were bold enough and a little far from them that witnessed the way they terrorized the two banks and the whole area. They wore a lot of strange things round their necks. They even dare the police. None of the policemen could come out to challenge them. But when the armed robbers now left, police started trooping out, parading themselves in their vehicles, blowing siren up and down. We were shouting on them, warning them not to shoot the innocent people moving around as they couldn’t come out when their service was really needed. Ifa (the lord of divinity) has said it that there are three basic things that can never cease happening, they are robbery, witchcraft and fraud. The fourth one is the truth but that’s very scarce.
What do you think is the solution to this kind of incident?
I always say it, we don’t recognize our traditional beliefs again. Even our governments at all levels don’t recognize us. What they all give honour to is Christianity and Islam and these two religions are alien to our culture. We, the ancestral worshippers are the ones that know the solution to this kind of menace, and the country will be at peace. I strongly believe that if they have done all the sacrifices they’re supposed to do, no armed robbers will come to the banks. All these deadly armed robbers have been fortified spiritually by pastors, alfas and herbalists before they come out to rob. They have done a lot of sacrifices before they perpetrated that kind of evil.
You have been the Araba of this community for more than 20 years, has this kind of thing happened before?
Not at all, I believe those guys that struck in Ijede were the same guys that came here. But what I know is that many days are for the thieves, one day is for the owner.
As a community elder, what do you think can be done to forestall such an occurrence in the future?
We’re only praying to God to help stop the evil. No one prays to see such a thing again. All these banks need protection in a traditional way so that armed robbers won’t be disturbing them, but what they all believe is Yah Allah or in Jesus name. We all need to go back to our roots.
We learnt they carted away about N100 m, how true is it?
Nobody can say exactly how much was carted away. I learnt it was a very huge amount packed in about five big Ghana Must Go bags and they later set ablaze their vehicles and escaped in a speed boat at the jetty over there (shows reporter the jetty).
How many of them came?
I couldn’t count them but they were many. Some of them were on the road, few of them in front of the banks while some were inside the two banks. So, it was a well planned operation. But in all, we thank Eleduwa (God) that nobody was killed. Even an okada rider that one of the bullets hit in the leg was rushed to the hospital. I learnt he came back in the evening to pick the okada. Others only sustained slight injuries.