Tuesday, November 8, 2016 1:36 pm
By Olufunmilola Olukomaiya
Following the attacks on Arepo, Imushin areas of Ogun State and Igbolomu and Ishawo areas in Ikorodu Local Government area of Lagos State by gunmen suspected to be Niger Delta militants, normalcy is gradually picking up in these communities.
It would be recalled that gunmen invaded these communities sometime in June 2016 through the creeks and no fewer than 50 people were reported dead.
Operatives of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force and the Department of Security Services (DSS) collaborated with the Lagos State government to stop the activities of the gunmen and vandals through aerial attacks and shelling of the creeks.
Three months after the gunmen invasion, business activities have resumed while some residents who fled their homes because of the multiple attacks witnessed in the then troubled communities are gradually returning to their various homes.
A resident of Igbolomu who wanted to be addressed simply as Mr Paul while speaking with TheNEWS said the residents are back to their various homes and life is back to normal.
He further explained that men of the State Security Service (SSS) and OP MESA are still in the area with checkpoints at Ajegunle, Psychiatric estate, Ola Imam and Tunde naira junctions within the community.
Another resident who prefers to be anonymous said motorists, okada and keke riders are not allowed access into the community without a proper stop and search by the security operatives. This, according to her, is to ensure that sanity in the area is maintained.
Mr Lekan Aro who is a resident of Imuti said as pleasing and reassuring as it is to have the security operatives around the community, they are beginning to cause a nuisance of themselves.
He said, “We appreciate the government for stationing these military people in our area for this long, but they now collect money (100) from both okada and keke riders especially at nights.
“They also harass our young boys, they call them thieves whenever they see them with big phones”, he added.
TheNEWS however spoke with one of the security operatives who didn’t want his name in print, he confirmed that Igolomu and environs are safe now with no cause for alarm.
He reassured that they were on ground to ensure the safety of both lives and properties of residents while adding that they won’t stop at nothing until the area was free from criminal activities.
When asked on the alleged issue of extortion by security operatives, he said, “I am not aware of this development, and no one has come to report any incident to us. I can only assure you that we’re going about our duties lawfully”.