Chaos broke out in the Gofidna community, Zuba area of the Federal Capital Territory, on Wednesday, when gunmen invaded the area, robbed the unsuspecting residents and shot dead a yet-to-be-identified resident.
This was just as no fewer than 50 armed men allegedly stormed the Tunga Maje and Yimi communities in the Gwagwalada area of the FCT on Sunday and Tuesday, and shot dead two residents, Monday Oroka and one Yahaya, during a robbery operation.
Reporters gathered that during the midnight invasion, the gunmen took advantage of the panic created to rob unsuspecting residents of their valuables.
Residents, who attempted to resist the armed robbers, were said to have sustained varying degrees of injury.
During the attack on the Tunga Maje community on Sunday, a resident, Aduragbemi Akinlade, said despite the curfew, the robbers invaded the community in commercial buses and robbed many houses and shot dead Monday.
Akinlade stated, “The robbers first came in the early hours of last Wednesday and robbed residents of their valuables. But on Sunday, about 50 of them came in commercial buses and while robbing people around 1am, a resident, Monday, was shot dead. We wondered how they were able to convey themselves to our community during the curfew.
“The Zuba Police Station was alerted, but the efforts of its personnel were futile. The policemen took away the corpse, but later returned it to the family for burial. I visited other residents, who were robbed, and realised that some of the victims sustained bullet wounds and machete cuts. We want police presence in our community, because we have turned to vigilantes to protect our lives and property.”
Monday’s wife, Deborah, while decrying the lack of security in the community, said her husband left the house against her warnings, adding that she was shocked when she saw his corpse.
An eyewitness, who identified herself simply as Deborah, said, “When the armed robbers started banging the door, my children and I started pushing the door back to prevent them from entering. But they gained entry through the window and started beating us; they stole our money, laptop and iPad, and left to rob another resident.”
In a renewed attack on Tuesday, one Yusuf Sanni said no fewer than 20 robbers invaded the New Donpac Street in the Yimi area of Gwagwalada, robbed the residents and shot dead a resident, identified simply as Yahaya.
Explaining how the incident happened, Sanni said, “Around 1am, while we were doing vigilance duty in the community, one of us noticed a torch flashing unusually in the bush and it suddenly went off. So, we suspected that armed robbers were around and we were alert. We flashed our own torchlight towards the direction but didn’t see anyone.
“Suddenly, the armed robbers switched on their torchlight around 1.13am and rushed to pin us down, but we all escaped.
“While running, the men fired some shots at us but we kept running into the town to raise the alarm that they were around. So, they started robbing residents and suddenly entered the house of one Yahaya, brought him out and dealt him machete blows and shot him dead.”
On Thursday, a yet-to-be-identified resident was reportedly shot dead in the Gofidna community, close to the Die-Die area in Zuba by gunmen, who stormed the area and robbed the residents.
Angered by the onslaught on their community, one Sani Shaibu said vigilantes gave the suspects a hot chase and arrested five of them, who were handed over to policemen attached to the Zuba Police Station.
“Yesterday, the hoodlums killed a resident after the flyover bridge around Gofidna, close to the Die-Die area and some vigilantes mobilised to arrest five of the suspects around 2am. The suspects were handed over to policemen at the Zuba Police Station,” Shaibu stated.
When contacted, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, said the command had put in place measures to beef up security in the affected communities.
Manzah stated, “The incidents in question are under investigation; we have extended our patrol to those locations and we are also working in synergy with the communities, because the fight against crime is a collective responsibility.
“So, the communities should also support the police and that is why we have made available our distress call numbers for members of the public to reach out to us when there are in distress situations.
“We want to assure members of the public that the command is working assiduously to provide the desired security coverage in the communities. I don’t have the casualty figure, but I want to reassure members of the communities that the command has taken active measures to beef up security in the communities. The communities are not abandoned.”