Pandemonium broke out yesterday at the FESTAC Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State as suspected oil thieves engaged Security operatives in a fierce gun battle.
The gun duel which lasted for about 30 minutes sent shivers to residents who scampered for safety.
Daily Sun gathered that at about 6.30am, the Police received information that some hoodlums were seen in a carnal at the 7th Avenue, FESTAC Town and suspecting that the hoodlums were armed robbers, quickly mobilised and sent a distress call to the Army Headquarters who drafted their men to join the Police.
The joint military and Police team stormed the Carnal where the hoodlums opened fire on them and the Security team engaged them in a fierce gun battle.
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Residents who heard the gun shots ran for cover as they thought it was a similar attack on banks by armed bandits as witnessed recently in the area.
A resident, Chisom Nkemdilim told Daily Sun that she was taking her children to the School when she started hearing gun shots. “My brother, I remembered what happened about two months ago in FESTAC Town when armed robbers raided the place and eventually killed mother and child, so I had to advise myself and returned home with my children. As I was speeding home, I saw other people running helter skelter. It was just a few minutes ago that I got the true picture of what really happened. I was told the Police and soldiers engaged pipeline vandals in a gun battle at 7th Avenue. That place is a notorious enclave for criminals”
A witness, Bielose Maduka said, “I thought it was even war as I saw soldiers and Police shooting. I was so scared that I had to relocate my family to a friend’s place for fear of stray bullets. It was in the radio that I later heard that it was a shoot out between the security agents and oil thieves. I am thinking of relocating my family from FESTAC Town to another place. FESTAC Town has now become a den of criminals. Life is no more interesting”
A Police source at the FESTAC Town Police Division told Daily Sun that that the Police got intelligence report that the Pipeline vandals were planning to siphon fuel at 7th Avenue through the carnal “We quickly contacted the military who assisted us in chasing the hoodlums away. We did not lose any of our team members but the hoodlums escaped with bullet injuries. You know the vandals attacked our gun boat at the Epe area but we have recovered it and we are fixing it. The oil thieves are now hungry and desperate because security operatives have taken over their depot in Arepo, Ogun State. We knew that FESTAC Town was their next target after they failed in Epe. Now, we know their next target and we are ready for them. We thank the soldiers who are now assisting us in this war”
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Joseph Offor confirming the incident, said: “We heard gunshots from fuel vandals who were firing sporadically and we moved in with soldiers, chased them away and took over the place. We are now in the place doing what we call show of force.
“We will remain there to make sure that the hoodlums do not come back. We arrested five of them last week. We don’t know whether it was because of the arrest that they were protesting. Whichever way, we are battle ready for them”
Mr Offor advised Lagos residents, especially, in FESTAC Town to remain calm as the Police and other sister agencies were ready to protect lives and property.
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