Investigations by ionigeria.com correspondents have revealed that recent killings by Ijaw gunmen at Elepete, Igbo-Olomu and other villages in Ikorodu area of Lagos state were revenged killings by Ijaw oil pipeline vandals whose gang members were allegedly massacred by some unidentified Police men at the instance of the proprietor of a filling station at Ikorodu who was involved in a business dispute with the pipeline vandals.
It was gathered that many of the Petrol Filling stations in Ikorodu and environs have been receiving fuel supplies from the pipeline vandals who are mostly Ijaws. However, one of the beneficiaries of the illegal supplies popularly known as “Alhaji”, owner Bravo Filling station at Ajegunle in Ikorodu defaulted in his payment to the Ijaw boys.
Alhaji is also said to be a banker.
According to one of our sources “the Ijaw boys normally supply fuel to Alhaji on credit and get paid after he had sold but there was a supply whose payment lingered for a long time. After series of meetings, the Ijaw boys, one day stormed the filling station with guns threatening that they would kill him if he doesn’t pay them their money. Alhaji, however pleaded with them and gave them a date that they should return for their money.
“Alhaji has a Close Circuit Television (CCTV) in his station with which he recorded the incident and took it to his friends at SARS (Police Anti Robbery Squad) claiming that the Ijaw boys were armed robbers who were threatening his life”.
According to our findings, on the agreed day, the Ijaw boys returned to Ikorodu earlier than the time given to them by Alhaji, as a result went to the bar at Top Star Hotel at Elepete to have some drinks. They were however sighted at the hotel by one of the security men at the Filling station who quickly informed his boss that the boys were at the hotel.
Instead of honouring his promise of paying them for the fuel supplied, Alhaji quickly called the Police. On getting to the hotel, three Ijaw boys were gunned down by the police but the leader of the team escaped.
Since, their members were killed at Elepete, the Ijaws boys or militants have been attacking the community because they felt that the community members are responsible for giving information to the police which led to the killing of their members.
In less than a week, residents of the various communities have disclosed that over 50 people have lost their lives as a result of the rampage of the Ijaw militants although the Police have consistently stated that the figure is far less than that.
To forestall more killings, the Police and the military have drafted over 500 operatives to the communities.
Army spokesman in Lagos, Lieutenant Colonel Kingsley Samuel said that the army has cordoned off the area and restored residents’ confidence.
According to him, patrol by men of the OP Messa has increased and more personnel are on the ground to avert any repeat attack.