Isheri residents panic amidst police show of force in the area
Residents of Isheri North Estate, a sleepy border community between Lagos and Ogun states, who got their peace brutally shattered with the invasion of gunmen on Saturday morning, now live in fear following the abduction of four landlords in the area.
The area is deserted as the Lagos State Police Command and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) have deployed personnel and equipment to track down the kidnappers before they go far into the creeks.
Although the incident took place in Ogun State, the Lagos State Police Command has taken up the challenge since they are more equipped to handle the search.
The police have intensified search for the four landlords by drafting into action, officers and men from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Lagos State Police Command, the Police Air Wing of the RRS, personnel from Ogun State Police Command and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos.
At about 2p.m. when The Guardian visited the area, about 100 policemen were seen combing the creeks. There was an intense aerial patrol by the RRS team led by Tunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Heavily armed policemen at the estate gate were manning an Amoured Personal Carrier (APC) and two patrol vehicles from Lagos and Zone 2 commands.
Despite the show of force by the police, residents are still living in fear as the kidnappers have vowed to kill the captives if the NI.2 billion ransom on them is not paid.
A police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “We are jointly conducting the search for the victims. We have cordoned off the bushes from Isheri to Ikorodu and other areas. There is no escape route for the hoodlums. They have not gone far and they won’t escape, I can assure you.”
A private security guard at the estate, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “On the fateful day, I saw the landlords doing exercises.
As I was watched, I saw some men in military uniforms , wearing masks, emerge and begin shooting into the air. The sound of the gun scared us and we all lay down.
“Two months ago, the hoodlums came to this area and abducted a man. The man was released after a ransom was paid. The attacks were not happening until we cleared a canal that leads to other parts. If we had not cleared the canal, I think the hoodlums would not have access to our area,” he said.
Another resident, Ahmed Aliu said: “I was wrestled down by the gunmen. They were heavily armed, so I had no alternative than to obey them. I thank God I was not taken away.”
Police authorities have, however, assured residents of a safe rescue of the victims. They also called for cooperation and patience.