• We will fish out the perpetrators, police assure victims
The peace of Apete community in Oyo State where many students of The Polytechnic Ibadan reside was shattered in the wee hours of yesterday as gun-totting robbers numbering over 20 invaded Jamade street, opposite Goshen land, leaving bloodstains in their trail.
Before the robbers who besieged the community left the area, more than 10 persons were severely injured as they invaded residents’ houses, including the residence of The Guardian’s photojournalist, Mr. Najeem Raheem, whose son, Faruk, fainted after being hit with an iron rod when he tried to resist the robbers.
While his father, Najeem Raheem escaped by the whiskers, his wife received machete cuts on her hand. The robbers arrived the community at about 1:00a.m. A student hostel was also attacked in the area where four students sustained machete cuts with others inflicted with varying degrees of injuries.
According to residents, the police were called many times but they did not get to the location until one and the half hour later even though the distance between the Divisional Police Station, Apete to the crime scene is not more than five minutes.
Also torched were the homes of an Islamic cleric who rears cow in the neighbourhood, Alhaji Adekunle, a Lead City University lecturer, and another employee of West African Examinations Council (WAEC). Some of the victims said the robbers, mostly young boys distributed themselves in groups to raid houses, stealing laptops, phones and cash.
A resident of the community who pleaded for anonymity said: “The policemen that came were even blaming residents, asking them where they got the phones that were stolen by the thieves. While the attack was on, residents called the 615 emergency number released by government and other numbers. We didn’t get response. In this community, no fewer than 40 houses have been attacked with not less than 30 persons sustaining injuries and loosing valuables in the last one month”.
Dayo Ojelaru, one of those who sustained machete cuts on his legs described the experience as harrowing and excruciating. Faruk Najeem has however been revived and sleeping at the time of filing this report.
His father, Najeem, said: “I thank God I didn’t lose my son and wife. They came in through the fence and stormed my compound. My wife sustained machete cut and my son was hit with iron making him to loose consciousness. We called the police but the response was not encouraging.
“The Commissioner of Police needs to deploy more patrol teams to Apete community and Yidi-arola for regular patrol. These are serial attackers. We can’t sleep with our two eyes closed anymore. Governor Makinde also needs to see to this rising insecurity. We have turned ourselves to night guard. The government must protect us. We need more police presence in Apete, Yidi-arola and Ariyibi.”
Reacting, the Oyo State police command has vowed to fish out the perpetrators of the robbery attack at Apete community in Ibadan. Speaking with The Guardian, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olugbenga Fadeyi, said the security agency would get to the root of the dastardly and despicable act.
“Police will commence investigation immediately. If they suspect anybody in that area, they should tell the police. Who and who do they suspect in that vicinity? They should give useful and credible information to the police that will assist the police to unravel the mystery behind the act. We will investigate them and prosecute and the court will give them punishment,” he said.