Police take cover as gunmen kill four Ogun residents.
There was pandemonium on Tuesday and
Wednesday in the Ogijo area of Ogun State after some gunmen opened fire
on residents, killing no fewer than four people.
PUNCH Metro learnt that among
the dead was a man who had gone to buy petrol at an MRS filling station
and a woman who sold herbs by the roadside.
A boy hawking foodstuffs was also reportedly hit by a stray bullet during the mayhem which lasted for about 30 minutes.
Our correspondents gathered that the
gunmen, who were suspected to be members of the Aye Confraternity,
arrived at the community around 8.30pm on Tuesday.
They were said to have started shooting sporadically at the Ogijo bus stop, during which many passers-by were injured.
Residents lamented that despite the
closeness of the Ogijo Police Division to the scene of the incident, the
police went into hiding and only came out 30 minutes after the gang had
left to remove the corpses of the victims.
When one of our correspondents got to
the area on Wednesday, he observed that the community had been deserted
as many commercial buses avoided taking the route.
Around 1pm, while PUNCH Metro was gathering this report, there was panic as sporadic gunshots rent the air, with everyone running helter-skelter.
A resident, who spoke on the condition
of anonymity, said trouble started around 8.30pm when the six-man gang
entered the community.
He said, “I observed that they were six
guys and were on two motorcycles; some of them wore masks. When they got
to Ogijo bus stop, they halted. Nobody suspected anything until they
started shooting in all directions. There was confusion everywhere. The
gang moved to the MRS filling station and shot the man point-blank. He
died on the spot.
“They then moved to Market Road where
they opened fire on people in a pub. Four Igbo traders sustained gunshot
injuries there. A woman, identified as Shade, who sold herbs was also
injured and she was rushed to a hospital where she died this morning. A
boy selling on the road was shot in the head. At least, four people died
between last night and this morning (Wednesday).”
A source at the filling station told our
correspondent that the deceased was a customer, adding that he could
not tell why he was a target of the cult members.
The victim’s jerrycan and slippers were still at the station when PUNCH Metro visited.
“He was about buying fuel when they
entered into the filling station and shot him dead. He was the only one
shot here. The police came to carry his corpse 30 minutes afterwards,”
the source said.
PUNCH Metro gathered that other
injured victims were rushed to two private hospitals in the community –
Victory Clinic and Maternity Centre, Ogijo; and Oladayo Medical Centre,
One of our correspondents was prevented
from entering Victory Clinic, as security officials at the centre said
they had been instructed to keep the press away.
A worker at the second medical centre said family members of the two victims rushed to the centre had taken them away.
“They said they will be taking them to
traditional healing homes to treat their bullet wounds,” the worker, who
did not want to be named, said.
A source told one of our correspondents
that members of the Aye Confraternity were behind the attack, adding
that they were preparing to celebrate a cult festival known as 8/8.
He said, “This is not the first time
they will be doing this. They said because they were not allowed to
celebrate 7/7 with a lot of killing, there will be more bloodshed come
August 8, when they will be marking 8/8.”
Another source explained that the Tuesday attack was targeted at members of the Eiye Confraternity, a rival group.
He, however, said most of the casualties were innocent residents.
A resident of Ogijo lamented that throughout the period of the shootings, the policemen hid in their station.
“They cannot say they didn’t hear the
gunshots because their station is beside the filling station. They just
decided to let those criminals kill as many people as they wished. It is
sad that we don’t have security in this community and our policemen are
only good at collecting money from motorcycle riders and extorting
motorists,” he said.
A landlady, who did not identify herself, said she was leaving the community till peace was restored.
The acting Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the police had a record of two deaths.
He said, “It was a clash between rival
cult members and before the police from the Ogijo division could
respond, two people had been killed. We have increased security in the
area and normalcy has been restored. Everybody is going about their
normal business without any fear now.”
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