Again, cultists strike at Odo-Nla, kill 3…Residents want govt’s intervention

Odo-Nla community in Odogunyan area of Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu Division was on Tuesday, August 2, 2019, put under siege as irate hoodlums, suspected to be cult members, invaded the area and launched deadly attacks on the residents. The community was reported to have been under siege of cultists, robbers and other criminals, who were alleged to have been launching attacks on innocent residents. The latest attack was said to have been carried out in the night of that Tuesday by armed assailants numbering about thirty (30).
According to report gathered, the invaders, who were said to have brought several dangerous weapons such as machetes, axes, guns and knives, looted shops, robbed houses and allegedly killed three residents while many others were inflicted with varying degree of injuries. The hoodlums were also alleged to have attacked a salon and inflicted life threatening injuries on the boys they met there with their dangerous weapons. The entire community was reported to have been thrown into a state of pandemonium throughout the operation as residents ran helter skelter in a bid to save their lives.
When Oriwu Sun visited the community to investigate the incident, the shadow of the war-like attack could still be felt as residents were seen moving about their daily activities with trepidation while some shops were shut. One of the victims, Mr. Negedu Ugbede, a mobile Police Officer, narrated his close to death experience to our reporters. The Benue State indigene, who said he had been living in the community for six years, explained that he was on his way home from work around 9:00pm, when some armed men attacked him with dangerous weapons and was inflicted with a deep cut on his head.
Mr. Negedu said that he did not see the face of his attackers and did not know why they attacked him but thanked God that he was not killed. He stated that about three people were killed that night, while several others were seriously injured by the hoodlums. Negedu said the incident was not the first of its kind in Odo-nla community, stating that the cultists had carried out several other attacks in the community in the recent past.
According to him, the high level of insecurity in the community was responsible for the frequent attacks by the cultists and the failure by the leaders in the community to address the security issue had continued to make the community prone to cult attacks.
Mr. Ugbede alleged that since the recent attack took place, nobody among the leaders in the community had neither visited him or other victims nor call a meeting to discuss the incident and the way out. He, however, appealed to the State Government to assist in addressing the insecurity in Odo-Nla community by providing regular police patrol to checkmate the activities of the cultists and other criminals. He also urged the community leaders to mobilise internal security arrangements.
While corroborating Ugbede’s statement, Comrade Johnson Onogwu, the Vice President of Elites Caucus Association in Lagos State and the Chairman of Igede community in Odo-Nla, berated the actions of the community leaders for not showing sympathy for those affected in the incident despite being aware. He also condemned the services of the members of the local vigilante group in the community for not being effective enough to secure the residents and their properties from attacks by criminals. Mr. Onogwu stated that residents have been groaning under cultist attacks for several years without any help from community leaders, and urged the government to urgently rescue the residents before another attack occurs.
Meanwhile, when Oriwu Sun visited the residence of the leader of Odo-Nla community, Otunba Olarewaju Afuwape, a high powered meeting by the community leaders was said to be going on to discuss the issue of insecurity and strategies to combat it. One of the leaders, who spoke on behalf of the community, confirmed the incident but denied that three people were killed, though he did not state the actual number of those that died. He also stated that the community would not make any public statement on the incident yet, but assured that plans are on-going to decisively address the situation and forestall further attacks.

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