The Idi Araba and Olorunishola communities in the Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State was thrown into confusion following the bloody clash between two factional gangs in the neighbourhoods.
Up to 150 vehicles parked on roadsides and even in the compounds were reportedly destroyed during the clashes, which also left some of the hoodlums injured.
The clash was the result of a fall out in the ongoing battle for supremacy between Idi Araba boys and Olorunnishola boys.
Reports obtained, indicated that the two gangs had been at logger heads for close to four years but the rivalry was reignited last week Saturday during a party organised by a lady on Olanrewaju Street, off Itire Road.
The celebrant was reportedly in a relationship with two men, each from the two factions, with both factions attending the party.
An eyewitness, who refused to give his name, said one Faruk of Olorunnishola boys escalated the fight after he smashed a bottle on Abbey, a “strong member of Idi Araba boys which thereafter led to a reprisal attack”
In his words, “Olorunishola boys also came to Idi Araba, Folarin Street and other neighouring streets around 12.30am on Sunday, September 10. They destroyed about 150 vehicles.
“Idi Araba boys comprised thugs from Daniyan, Sea Side, Lawanson, Odutan and Adekunle areas; and they are led by Emo, Sule Jagaban and Bere.
“Olorunishola boys also comprised hoodlums from Daniel, Morgan, Shittu, Igbeyin Adun streets and Ojuwoye in Mushin. They were led by Mopol and Bobo. Some of them are cult members.
“The lady that organised the party was dating members of both factions. The lady was given a post in her church and she celebrated it on that day. The party could not contain the two rival gangs.”
Another resident and eyewitness, simply identified as Samuel, said the hoodlums hided under the umbrella of the unrest to rob residents of their valuables.
“Apart from destroying property, they entered into houses to steal laptops, generators, televisions and other items. Everybody here is afraid. We need more security and we want the police to stop the gangs from causing more havoc,” Samuel said.
Lukman Ninalowo, a car dealer, said his car and that of his wife, parked on Folarin Street, were destroyed during the clash.
He said, “They damaged the two cars – Mitsubishi and Sienna – and I have reported the vandalism at the Itire Police Division. They broke the glass on the driver’s side of the Mitsubishi and smashed the windscreens of the Sienna. They came at night armed with cutlasses.
“Over 40 vehicles were vandalised on Folarin Street alone. They also entered premises and destroyed vehicles, including a car that a mechanic repaired for his customer.
“We urge the Lagos State Police Command to deploy more operatives in this area to support the Itire division. We learnt that four of the suspects were arrested and taken to court.”
Another victim, Mr. Taiwo Adeneike, a civil servant said, he had no idea of how to raise fund to repair his vandalised car.
“They broke the windscreen and the driver’s side glass of my BMW E36. The fight has been on for a long time, but that of Sunday assumed another dimension. I had slept off. I suddenly started hearing noises. By the time I came out, a lot of vehicles had been destroyed. The DPO of the Itire Police Division came that night,” he added.
The Chairman, Ifetedo Community Development Association, Ishaga Close, Idi Araba, Mr. Rasheed Bakare, called on the state government to intervene, noting that the gangs had created panic in the affected communities.
He said, “The cause of their fight is always baseless. Whenever they clash, it is innocent residents who bear the brunt. Vehicles parked on Itire Road, Morgan, Olorunishola, Durojola streets and Lawanson were damaged Over 100 vehicles were vandalised. I personally counted over 50 damaged vehicles on Folarin Street.
“Whenever there is any misunderstanding, they start destroying property and robbing people. We want the state government to intervene because it is getting out of hands.”
Reacting to the mayhem, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, said the police had responded to the incident and launched a regular patrol of the areas.
He said, “Arrests were made and suspects have been charged to court. A raid was also conducted and five male suspects were taken to the Lagos State Task Force office in Oshodi.
“Apart from police patrol, we are also holding meetings with stakeholders in the communities to avoid any breakdown of law and order.”