Sunday, April 14, 2024

Police inspector, siblings killed in Lagos masquerade festival

A police inspector and two siblings have lost their lives during a masquerade festival at Ilagbo community, in the Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State.
PUNCH Metro learnt that some youths of Oriyanrin, a neighbouring community, had attended the masquerade event tagged, Kilajolu festival, at Ilagbo on Saturday when a clash broke out between the two communities.
Some elders of the host community were said to have sent the youths away.
It was gathered that the youths regrouped and laid in ambush for some Ilagbo youths who were returning from the festival, hacking one Ismaila to death.
Our correspondent learnt that Ismaila’s brother, identified simply as Matanle, had gone to remove the corpse of his brother at the scene, when he was also hacked to death by the Oriyanrin youths.
Angered by the deaths, Ilagbo youths reportedly went on a reprisal and attacked Oriyanrin, burning down houses, vehicles, among other valuables.
It was gathered that a team of policemen were deployed in the communities to restore normalcy, during which the inspector, whose identity had yet to be disclosed, was killed by the rampaging youths.
A resident, Moriu Made, described the incident as unfortunate, saying he escaped death by a whisker, adding that the community had been deserted.
 He said, “I was ill and because of that, I could not run when the youths from Ilagbo invaded our community.
“They burnt my house and my younger brother’s house. Some other residents’ houses were also burnt. I don’t know where to start from.
“My family members have run away; only a few persons are left in the community and I have not eaten for three days. Government should please provide adequate security for us.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who visited the warring communities on Tuesday warned the residents to desist from communal clashes.
The CP, while addressing traditional rulers and elders in the areas, said the command would be forced to take stiff actions against the communities if they failed to embrace peace.
He said, “We will make sure there is no reprisal in the community, but the traditional heads need to do something except if you are not capable.
“The elders in this community should be ashamed of themselves. The police helped you to settle clashes, but you went ahead to kill an inspector.
“Nothing stops you from organising a vigilance group with the police. Instead, your children go behind to kill policemen. Policemen also have families. You know the solution, but if you don’t want peace to reign, we will handle it with force.
“You need to give us assurance that you are ready to defend your communities because security starts with you. You should establish cordial relationship with investors to enjoy corporate social responsibility.”
Owoseni urged the residents to join hands with the police in fighting militants in the communities, rather than creating divisions among themselves.
“We keep doing our best in chasing militants away from your communities, but you are starting an internal fight instead of joining hands with us to combat militants,” he said.
The CP confirmed the death of the brothers, adding that two persons had been arrested in connection with the crisis.
“It was after the brother (Matanle) was attacked that a distress call got to the police and our men were deployed in the community to restore normalcy.
“We have had discussion with the community leaders to help us with information on how to arrest the culprits who caused the carnage so that peace can return.”

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