Wednesday, October 21, 2020 3:46 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
Hell was let loose yesterday when some hoodlums, numbering over 300, hiding under #Endsars protesters, tried to burn down the Ago-Okota Police station in Oshodi local development council area of Lagos State, south west Nigeria. They were repelled by the combined forces of the Police and Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC). Throughout the night, there were sporadic gun shots, as police tried to repel the hoodlums.
According to the Chairman of the Nigerian Road Transport workers Union, Ago Unit, Alhaji Lookman Olasunkanmi, a.K. a.Eluku and Area father, who is also the leader of the OPC in the area, all along the protest had been peaceful until yesterday. He was in his office when one Chinedu called him that, “some hoodlums were moving towards the station to burn it down.”
There and then, he called one of his boys, Kola Dudu, a.k.a Commander, to go there and give him situation report. The report he received was not favourable. He then called on his other boys, Demola Onakoya, Bunmi Fasehun, David Akinyemi and some Igbo guys who were members of the Residents Association to move to the scene. Thereafter, he moved to the station to see things for himself.
On getting to the area comprising the Police Station, Century Hotel, owned by the late founder of OPC, Dr Fredrick Fasheun and the adjacent areas, he met the Divisional Police Officer of the station, SP Ladi Taparya; Station Officer, Innocent Shuaib, other armed Policemen and some OPC members stationed in front of the station. At the same time, some of the hoodlums were positioning themselves afar off. Earlier in the day, two police stations in the area, Ilasa and Cele, were burnt down.
Eluku approached the hoodlums and they told him they were on their way to FESTAC, that they meant no harm. The OPC leader narrated further: “Discretely, I ordered one of our boys, Sayo Adeyemi, to follow them. They went to a petrol station to buy fuel and started preparing Petrol canisters. My boy overheard them saying if Orile Police station which was more fortified could be burnt down, Ago could be over run in minutes. I was alerted and I urged his boys to be vigilant.”
By the time the hoodlums returned to the area, they had called for reinforcement from some of their members. The boys, numbering about 350, had stormed the area with dangerous weapons such as pump action guns, cutlasses and charms. Thereafter, there were sporadic gun shots from both the police and the hoodlums. The invaders were eventually repelled by the combined efforts of Police and the OPC; they chased them far away from the community, though they promised to stage a comeback. Alhaji Eluku said: “By the grace of God, the area will be secured”.
Since yesterday night, Police and OPC have been keeping vigil at the station.
All efforts to speak with the DPO proved abortive.