Five persons were yesterday feared killed and several others injured as suspected pipeline vandals who have now turned kidnappers invaded Banku Estate at Ibafo area of Ogun State.
The suspects, who stormed the community at about 9.00pm on Wednesday in three commercial buses, were said to have attempted to kidnap an Ogun State based businessman.
An eyewitness said, although the intended victim was not in the house when the hoodlums arrived, they allegedly opened fire in the neighborhood express their frustration. The witness said those who died and the stray bullets from the hoodlums hit the injured persons.
It was gathered that some of the hoodlums who are pipeline vandals in the area have now taken to kidnapping following the increased presence of soldiers and officials of other security agencies who are currently ‘combing’ the creeks at Arepo and environs in search for criminals.
It was also gathered that the vandals who have since been displaced from the creeks at Arepo by operatives of the joint military Task Force have now taken to kidnapping. A prominent traditional ruler in the area was allegedly kidnapped two weeks ago and the sum of N5million was paid as ransom to secure his release.
“They now feel that they can make more money from kidnapping since it has become increasingly difficult for them to operate as vandals in the area. “The hoodlums arrived around 8.30pm on Wednesday. When they arrived, they fired over 80 shots to scare away people. They later headed for the home of a prominent businessman in the area. As at the time they arrived the place, the target was not home.
Out of anger, the hoodlums started firing sporadic shots. Two of the occupants of the house died during the shootout while three others sustained bullet wounds” the witness alleged. It was gathered that businessmen are now moving out of the area for fear of them falling into the hands of the Vandals who have now taken to kidnapping as a way of survival. Defence Spokesman, General Rabe Abubakar, while reacting to the activities of the hoodlums in the area called for support from members of the public. He said, “The criminals are not doing us any good. The community leaders and well meaning Nigerians should assist us to flush these hoodlums from the area”.