May 23, 2024

The Lagos State Police Command has confirmed the death of a one-year-old baby during an attack at Egan Oriomi, in the Otto Awori Local Council Development Area of Ojo, Lagos State.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, told PUNCH Metro on Sunday that some residents of the community who got caught up in the attack also sustained varying degrees of injuries.

While speaking with our correspondent in an interview, Hundeyin said, “There was an attack on the community on Saturday morning. They burnthouses and there was a baby found in the burnt houses. When the police got there, they saw houses that were burnt and shops looted. Some members of the community also sustained gunshot wounds.”

It was learnt that some hoodlums invaded the community on Friday night, shooting sporadically.

A police source who was privy to the development but preferred anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the matter told our correspondent that the sound of gunshots made residents scamper for safety.

The source said, “Some hoodlums who were bearing different kinds of weapons invaded the community on Friday night. They started shooting and breaking into people’s homes. They also started to inflict injuries on anyone they sighted. The attack went on throughout midnight and by the time they were done, about 10 people were already shot.

“The hoodlums also set some houses in the community on fire and that was what led to the burning of an infant. The mother of the baby was indoors with her two kids when they torched the house she was in. The shock made her escape with only her first child while the baby was left behind. When we arrived in the morning, we saw the remains of the baby while the father also wept bitterly while carrying it.”

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The police source added that beyond setting some buildings on fire, the attackers also destroyed many properties.

Meanwhile, security operatives have been drafted to the scene of the incident to forestall a recurrence.

Our correspondent gathered that some of the injured victims, which included an aged man, had been taken to the hospital, while others who had minor injuries had been discharged.

A resident of the community who refused to identify himself due to the sensitive nature of the incident told our correspondent that the attack was due to a leadership dispute.

The source said, “The incident was due to a leadership tussle which had existed for more than eight years. The people had kicked against a new traditional ruler who was not an indigene of the community. They insisted on submitting to the leadership of a monarch who has roots in the community.”

Hundeyin who spoke further on the matter confirmed that there had been a crisis bordering on a leadership tussle in the community.

He said, “There has been a leadership tussle in the community before the incident, and we treat it as a civil matter. Our own is to maintain peace and order and we have been doing our best to do that before this particular midnight attack. We are not linking the leadership crisis to what happened. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause.”

When contacted, the Executive Chairman of Oto-Awori LCDA, Prince Musibau Asafa, said he was in a church service. Repeated calls made to his phone were not responded to. A text message sent to him had yet to be replied to as of the time this report was filed.

 

Punch

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