The Community leaders, who claimed to have been living in fear over the activities of the hoodlums said the conduct of the evil perpetrators has been causing members of the CDA sleepless nights as they live in fear for their lives and property.
Crying out to the police and other relevant authorities, the Igbobi CDA said their lives are no longer secured as the evil boys became hostile and violent on daily basis, threatening landlords and their families.
The Community, in a petition dated May 27, 2020, signed by the CDA chairman, Alhaji Abiodun Komolafe and five other members claimed that the property situated on No. 39, Igbobi road, Olopomeji Area, Mowe, Ogun State has become a black spot which has been constituting a security threat to the community.
The CDA, in the petition addressed to the Divisional Police Officer, Mowe, Ogun State, urged the DPO to help the community get rid of the hoodlums that has been giving them sleepless nights.
Also, part of the prayer of Igbobi residents to the Police boss is that he should use his good office to mandate Mr. Lukman Bakare, the owner of the abandoned property to put the building in order such that the community will not be at risk for his own lackadaisical attitude.
Speaking on behalf of the Igbobi CDA, Mr. Adebayo Samuel, the Vice Chairman of the association said the landed property which has been serving as shelter for the hoodlums has been in the community for over 12 years.
“Our administration and the past ones have made several attempts to reach out to the owner of the property in order for him to do something about the place because it has turned to criminal hideout. Initially, children play football there during the day but it was later discovered that by the time the footballers have gone home, some people still come back at odd hours to perpetuate evil and if you go into the property, you will see remnants of the cigarettes and different types of substances they take in the building.
“On several occasions, they have attacked people living in the community. They have robbed many residents of their properties and this has been giving us concerns, and we could no longer fold our hands and watch the atrocities go on, we have petitioned the Divisional Head of Mowe Police Station, who immediately sprung into action and chased the hoodlums who were so much in numbers away.
“However, after the police visited the place, these hoodlums still come around to threaten some of our community members, saying, they will deal with them. We realise we could no longer treat the situation with kid’s glove. We are much concerned about the safety and security of our people.
“We are therefore appealing to the government to help us reach out to the owner of the property to please do something about the place, so that the hoodlums will not just be going in and out of the place at their own free will. We want our community to be secured,” he said.
On efforts that has been put in place in the past years concerning the abandoned property, Mr Adebayo said the past administrations of the CDA did their best to get in touch with the owner of the said property but he never heed any of the call and he has not showed up in the last 12 years to check his property.
“Another step we took to curb this illicit acts from the hoodlums was to employ local vigilantes but till now, we have not been able to get hold of any one. We have also seek the help of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) members in our community.”
He added that none of the hoodlums are members of their community, so no one knows the identity of any of the evil perpetrators.
“Most of the roofs of houses on our street has been damaged by these hoodlums who play football and destroy properties with it.
“We equally urged the owner of this property that the hoodlums have turned into criminal hideout in our community to come and take charge of his building and help us get rid of these criminals.”
While also speaking to our correspondents, Secretary to the GDA, Mr. Wale Akinsola said “the hoodlums have become so violent and despite the fact that the residents have tried to appeal to them, they told us that there is nothing practically the community can do to them. As a community, we are no longer comfortable with their activities and that was why we have involved the police and still calling on the government to help us out.
“Despite several appeals to the property owner, he does not seems to be forthcoming and I want to believe there is conspiracy even from the man because how can something of that nature be happening on your property and you don’t seems to care or harken to the cry of people in the community, and that is what prompted our decision to petition the police over the challenge we are facing in our community.”
Mr. Akinsola added that most people in the community did not know anything about the owner of the property and all they have been gathering about him are mere hearsay.
“We gathered that he was working with a bank when he acquired the land but we don’t know what he does for a living right now as he has not been coming around for over a decade. We were also told that he lives in Lagos.”
Also speaking on the challenges being faced in the community, a member of the CDA who simply identified himself as Mr. Femi said he has lodged several complaints to the community leaders and at the Mowe Police Station over the activities of the hoodlums.
Mr. Femi added that it became necessary to take actions against the hoodlums when they began to threaten his family.
“They have become so lawless that after destroying my properties, they still have the effrontery to threaten my family. This we consider out of place and we call in the law enforcement agents to come to our aide and help flush out these miscreants from our community,” he said.
Another resident who simply identified herself as Mrs Alabi who has also fallen victim of robbery attack of the hoodlums said her residence has been robbed twice.
According to the middle-aged woman, “they have robbed my family twice and carted away money and valuables. I am sure that these boys who are perpetrating the evil knows us well in this community.”
Another female resident also confirmed attack on her family. While narrating her ordeal, she said that her husband operates a viewing center and they burgled the shop and took away all the gadgets they are using for business.
“All the plasma TV sets that we used at the viewing center were taken away and since then, things have never remain same with us and we never recovered any of those items that were stolen.
“Those hoodlums terrorising us usually sneak in at night into the abandoned property and we use to see rays of light inside the building at night,” she said.
She however pleaded that the government should help the community by chasing away the hoodlums terrorising the neighborhood.
“We also urge the owner of the property to come and find solution to the challenge that has been endangering our lives.”
Meanwhile, Saturday INDEPENDENT contacted the owner of the property, Mr. Lukman Bakare through phone calls and he denied the knowledge of his building being used as criminal hideout.
“I never abandoned the property but I had some challenges when we were about to move in which includes armed robbery activities and due to the fact that my children were attending school in Lagos, the proximity was also a major challenge to my family.
“I have on two occasions fixed the fence back when it was pulled down. I don’t know that the fence is down again. Meanwhile, nobody has called me from the community on the state of the property and I don’t believe their allegations about my building being a criminal hideout.
“There was a time I was contacted by a set of Muslim group who wanted to buy the place. Even a church had approached me on the land. I am so surprised that there is a petition written against me and I am not aware of it.
“I am hearing about the petition from you for the first time and it’s so uncalled for, if a while Community has written a petition against me and I didn’t receive any.
“I believe they are behaving that way because I refuse to sell my property to some of them who had earlier approached me.
“I will go there and fix the broken fences and other necessary things but I still maintained that I don’t know any of the CDA members, as none of them has ever contacted me,” he said.
Speaking with Saturday INDEPENDENT in a telephone interview, the Divisional Police Officer, Mowe, Marvis Jaiyeola said all hands are on deck to ensure safety of lives and property in the community.
“We have swung into action immediately we got the information by sending our team to the community for surveillance. We want to assure them that the police will do her best to ensure safety of lives and property in the area,” he said.
Source: Daily Independent