Suspected hoodlums left residents of Gbayunre community, Atan, Ogun State, were left in fear after hoodlums suspected to be land grabbers stormed the area.
It was learnt that the hoodlums, some of who reportedly wore camouflage, invaded the community around 2pm on Saturday, wielding guns and other weapons.
It was gathered that the hoodlums had gone to claim the possession of an expanse of land, which is some distance away from Gbayunre Market, the community’s main market.
The pandemonium was said to have disrupted commercial activities in the market, while many traders were forced to close their shops.
In the ensuing confusion, a resident, Lateef Jimoh, was said to have been hit by a stray bullet as people scampered to safety.
A resident, Dolapo Tijani, explained that Jimoh was rushed to a private hospital in the neighbourhood, while policemen from the Onipanu Police Station responded to the incident, adding that no arrest was made.
Tijani said the community had been contending with attacks from the hoodlums over the past two months, adding that the matter took a turn for the worse on Saturday.
He said, “Earlier that day, around 4am, we heard gunshots. We could not sleep. Around 2pm, the hoodlums came again. Three of them wore camouflage used by security men, shooting indiscriminately. The bullets hit a resident (Jimoh). We are living in fear. They are omo oniles (land grabbers). We have been on it for over two months now and many people have moved out of the community.”
Another resident, who gave her name only as Faith, stated that Jimoh was at the market to charge his phone at a shop when violence broke out.
Faith, who is also a trader at the market, said many shops were still closed for fear of sudden attacks from the hoodlums.
She said, “The land tussle was between members of a family in the community. The leader of the land grabbers was an ex-policeman. I had to quickly close my shop on Saturday. There was confusion everywhere. They had started to demolish a building under construction on the disputed land. They fled on noticing that policemen were approaching.
“The victim came to the market with his wife to charge his phone with a generator because there was no electricity that time. They were returning home on a motorcycle when he was hit by a stray bullet. He moved into the community about a year ago.”
A community leader, who pleaded not to be named, said the family members had been at daggers drawn for years and failed to approach a law court for settlement.
“Policemen from the Onipanu division still patrolled the community today (Monday) because there is still tension everywhere,” he added.
The Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the incident, said the police were on the trail of the hoodlums.
He said, “The hoodlums are land grabbers and they have been causing trouble in the area for some time now. But they had stopped fomenting trouble before they struck again on Saturday.
“People in that community know them, but they don’t know where they live.
“A high-level investigation is going on and very soon we will apprehend the hoodlums.
“The person that was injured has been discharged from the hospital.
“We are not privy to the information that some of the hoodlums were in camouflage.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )