There was panic at Capitol Road, Pen Cinema and Amao Street areas of Agege, Lagos State on Sunday, following the presence of a group of suspected cultists, believed to be members of ‘Awawa Boys.’
According to eyewitnesses, the boys stormed the community in commercial buses and looted brain boxes of parked vehicles.
The boys were said to be armed with guns and other weapons. Residents and traders at Agege, who sighted the boys, hurriedly shut their shops and scampered for safety.
However, those caught by the gang were robbed. Residents said that the boys operated for hours without being challenged. An eyewitness, who gave his name as Adebayo, said the cultists took everyone unaware. He said that traders and passers, by were attacked and robbed and which many sustained injuries.
Adebayo said: “The boys suddenly appeared along the Pen Cinema Bridge. They hurled bottles at traders and passersby, causing panic. Before we knew what was happening, they had started robbing people of their valuables.
We heard they had also robbed and vandalised vehicles parked at Capital Road before moving to Pen Cinema. It was also learnt that the boys went to Amao Street, but when they got to the street, everyone ran into their apartments and locked up. We don’t have police in Lagos State anymore. These groups of boys have taken Lagos State hostage.”
An Editor with one of the national dailies in Nigeria, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he witnessed the mayhem. He described it as “terrible to watch.” He narrated: “I was waiting to board a bus heading to Egbeda, when the boys started hurling bottles.
They shot sporadically into the air. When I noticed the mayhem was escalating, I tried to escape, to avoid being hit by a stray bullet. While trying to scamper for safety, I stepped on a nail.
Other people also sustained injuries. I want to urge police in the state to rejig their operational strategies during this festive period. There is lawlessness everywhere in the city.” Meanwhile, some suspected cultists were said to have killed a trader at the Mile 12 Market area of the metropolis on that same Sunday.
The cultists shot him dead after accusing him of being an informant to the police. The deceased was heading home when he cornered and shot dead.
The incident grounded commercial activities at the market as most traders close shops for that day. Confirming the incident, Chairman of the Perishable Stuff Seller Association, Alhaji Shehu Usman, said: “Please note that there are no cultists in Mile 12 Market. It’s only in the community near the market that they operated.”
On Monday, some of the boys allegedly confronted policemen and soldiers drafted to the Mile 12 area to quell the crisis. When our correspondent contacted the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, on the matter and to know the number of those arrested for fomenting trouble, he promised to get back to our correspondent, but as at press time, he was yet to respond.