Thousands flee Ikorodu for fear of militants attack

Igbolomu, a suburb in Ikorodu area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria is now a ‘ghost town’ as thousands of residents have fled the troubled area following incessant militants attack.

Several militants attack in the area had left many dead. The militants, in most cases strike at night, invading houses and killing occupants.

In the last two days, there has been mass exodus from the area. This stems from fear of fresh militants attack of the area.

News had gone round that the militants, mostly of Ijaw enclave, had sent messages round the area that they were coming on Saturday to carry out a posthumous wedding for one of their colleagues killed by the police a month ago. The said colleague is supposed to wed tomorrow if he had been alive.

The fear that the militants are coming to conduct posthumous wedding for their dead colleague has led to exodus of people from the area. Residents fear that the belligerent youths would certainly vent their anger on them, so, the need to flee.

Residents knew very well that whenever the militants strike, trails of blood, pain, anguish, death and mourning are left behind. In the last one month, it had been reported that over 50 people were killed in the area, but Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni debunked such figure as he only confirmed six people dead so far.

But residents disputed the police’s claim of fewer deaths in the insurgents’ attack. They said the police were only economical with the truth.

A resident of the area who craved anonymity told PM News that people had started fleeing the area as the militants struck on Thursday night and this morning.

He said he had taken his family to a safe haven to avert being caught in the crossfire, adding that the area was no longer safe.

A deacon at Igbolomu, who craved anonymity for fear of being known said he had relocated his family from the area for long as their safety could no longer be guaranteed.

Residents said they have lost hope in the police as the mobile policemen manning the area were only stationed at the main road. The militants strike from the creek and always operate successfully without the police knowledge.

Recently, a pastor was said to have been kidnapped at Igbolomu by the militants without the knowledge of the police. Intermittent gunshots are heard in dead of the night as residents who refused to flee now sleep with one eye open.

Ikpeakhai Uduimoh, a resident of the area said Igbolomu was now a ghost town. “Only what you see these days are deserted streets and people carrying loads and bags fleeing the area” for fear of the unknown.

Residents of Igbolomu are said to be migrating to other areas of Lagos, especially Epe. A resident in Epe, who craved anonymity, lamented the high rate at which Igbolomu residents were fleeing to the area.

He berated the state government and the Nigerian police for not doing enough to curtail the surging insecurity and killings in the area which had led to mass exodus of residents from the area to other parts of the state.

Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Dolapo Badmos told PM News that the police were on ground in the area and that a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, had been assigned to police the area.

She said all stories about people fleeing the area was only a propaganda as the police were doing a lot to secure lives and properties at Igbolomu.

Credit PM NEWS

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