At about 6.30 am today, Sunday, 25th day of October, 2020, I saw updates on the social media, insinuating that an orgy of violence was ongoing at Mokola area of Ibadan.
Being the area housing our office, I started making calls to persons residing around the area, to know the true state of affairs, but unfortunately, nobody seems to have any precise answer to my questions.
Stemming from this, I drove down to Mokola, on a fact finding mission. I found myself in the middle of a real war! It was a war between two identifiable groups. One comprising of some notorious looking, obviously drugs induced, fully armed with cutlasses, petrol, clubs, daggers, dane guns etc, on a mission to vandalize and burn down the Mokola police station, with an ultimate intention of breaking into and looting the adjoining shops and businesses in the vicinity, particularly the big electronics and telephone stores, the other group, comprising mostly known persons who were fully involved in the just suspended EndSars protests, on a mission to repel the organized criminal gang on the other side, and defend and protect both the Mokola police station and the shops and businesses in the vicinity. The most interesting part on the side of this other group is that I saw even old men and women of Mokola joining this youthful team, clutching on to clubs and every other thing they could lay their hands on in prosecuting this war, in defence of their territory! Operation Burst, the Oyo State government special security outfit was later to be on ground to give some cover to this patriotic group.
Bottles, stones, iron rods, unused utensils were used as missiles, as same flew the air across both ends. In the midst of the melee, yours truly was given adequate protection by the boys on ground. One even had something in the form of a shield that was woven like basket, with which he was able to wade off one or two stone or bottles from touching yours truly, with the consistent assuring words of the law baba, e ma worry, kosi ewu (literally meaning: the law, don’t worry, you’re well protected, no harm would befall you).
By the time the dust was down, and the criminal gang had been forced to flee, conservatively, two members of the gang have been apprehended by the army of progress, one had been beaten to a pulp already, but was also handed over to Operation Burst on the intervention of good spirited persons present on ground, to give a direction to the defence of their territory.
As we speak, the army of progress had taken strategic position around the police station and other areas, anticipating a further attack from the criminals.
After the war had gone down, I interacted with some persons within the army of progress, especially the old men and women, to find out what their motivation was. I was shocked by their responses, which were different, but shows some degree of intelligence.
For the old ones, their reason is simple: If these criminals succeeds in taking down the station and the businesses around it, they’ll eventually come and rob them in their houses, hence, it’s better to send them off before they even come.
For the younger ones (boys and girls), who were actively involved in the ENDSARS struggle: If these criminals are not repelled, and they succeed in executing their plans, it would be attributed to ENDSARS protesters, hence, they must be stopped!
Either way, for me, it was a war between GOOD and EVIL, and GOOD came out victorious.
With what I witnessed today, I can say with all certainty that if we have a functional intelligence community in this country, by now, the details and movements of those criminals should have been tracked and identified for further action, either now or when the country returns to normal. We can’t afford to have these dangerous elements bestriding our space like Lords.
Finally, I want to appeal to the government, and especially Oyo State governor, to allow the police come back to the streets. It’s obvious that these criminals are taking advantage of the absence of the police, to fill the vacuum left by them.
May Nigeria rise again!
OLA ADEOSUN ESQ.