BY AKINWALE ABOLUWADE IBADAN
A businessman, Peter Olaoluwa, and a septuagenarian, Paul Olawoyin, have again sent a Safe Our Souls message to the Oyo State Police Command on the alleged threat to their lives by a group of violent youth in Igbeti, Olorunsogo Local Government Area of the state.
The duo had earlier petitioned the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ngozi Onadeko, following the reported attacks on some residents of the community by a group allegedly led by one man called Mudasiru Olaniyan (a.k.a Igidaduro).
According to Olaoluwa and Olawoyin, Igidaduro and his boys were often engaged in faceoff with Custom’s officers in the border town which sometimes lead to heavy shootouts.
This, they said, usually posed grave danger to the inhabitants of Igbeti who may be hit by stray bullets in the course of the faceoff between the customs and smugglers.
The men alleged that efforts to curtail the anticipated incident were aborted as several appeals made to Igidaduro and his boys were ignored and complaints lodged at the Igbeti Police Division were not followed up with investigation by the Divisional Police Officer.
Olaoluwa said that “It was to this end that we visited the Eleyele Police Headquarters on Wednesday. We have been feeling so unsafe in the town since Igidaduro threatened to kill Pa Olawoyin and I. One day, I went to the sawmill in Igbeti with Pa Olawotlyin to buy planks when the Igidaduro boys approached us.
“They asked me to give them money so I handed them a N1, 000 note. Their leader, Igidaduro arrived immediately after and when he saw Pa Olawoyin and I, he asked his boys to attack and finish us. We quickly hopped up into the car and drove off. They hit the car with clubs in the process, and the dents are still on the car as I speak to you.
“Before now, we brought a complaint to the CP at the Eleyele Police Command, Ibadan, on August 24, alleging Igidaduro of assaulting and threatening us. He had sworn to kill us and anytime his boys see us, they would assault us.
“We reported Igidaduro and his boys at the police station but the DPO did nothing. We brought the case to the police headquarters, the DPO was asked to investigate the boys but no arrest was made. As a result, the Igidaduro boys continue to act with impunity.”
An electronic copy of the petition obtained by our correspondent indicated that Igidaduro and other members of his group, on Monday, June 28, assaulted Olaoluwa, a car dealer and Pa Paul Olawoyin, at the sawmill in Igbeti while trying to buy some planks.
According to the petition, there was a fight between Igidaduro and his men and a team of Customs men on patrol, sometimes in June, which set the town into jitters.
Olaoluwa alleged that “Igidaduro and his boys were trouble mongers. He often engaged in trouble with the Customs and that really worries us in the community. We don’t want the type of tragic occurrence that happened between the Customs men and some people in Iseyin community to happen here in Igbeti. You will recall that some lives were lost in crossfire between the Customs and some men in Iseyin recently. We don’t want that here.”
When called for reaction, Igidaduro denied the allegations, saying that Olaoluwa was only trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.
“I can’t understand why he is talking like this. Olaoluwa’s claim is false and unfounded. Olaoluwa and I had some disagreements which we tried to settle. He took me to the police station and we talked it over.
“Olaoluwa has money so he wants to use it on me. I don’t cause trouble as he alleged. Nobody has any reason to make trouble with the situation in the society. I am a farmer. Everybody is just managing to make ends meet; I am not looking for people’s trouble,” Igidaduro said.
Attempts made to get a reaction from the police as of the time of filing this report were abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Command, Adewale Osifeso, could not be reached.