IT was a bloody Sunday in Lagos yesterday.
Rampaging robbers shot dead three policemen, a bureau de change operator, an Okada (commercial motorcycle) rider and a bus driver.
There were reports of more deaths which The Nation could not confirm.
More than 10 people were believed to have been injured. They include an official of the Lagos State Traffic management Authority (LASTMA).
The bureau de change was attacked in Agege. A large amount of foreign currencies was reportedly carted away by the robbers, who killed one of the operators.
But the Lagos State Government assured residents of adequate security. It described the situation as “unfortunate”, urging residents to be vigilant.
The robbers, said to be eight, including two women, drove round in two SUVs – a Prado and an Armada. They shot the policemen who were inside their patrol vehicle near the Guinness Brewery on Oba Akran, Ikeja. Two of the five policemen inside the patrol van died instantly. The third was taken to the hospital, where he died.
A stray bullet hit a six-year- old girl in the eye. Her grandmother was hit on the forehead. They were watching television in their home at 15, Alfa-Nla Street in Agege on the outskirts of the city.
A stray bullet also hit a parked Volvo ambulance with registration number HL 355 AAA belonging to Motolani Medical Centre. It shattered the rear windscreen.
The robbers were said to have been spotted at about 10.35a.m at Ifako-Gbagada from where they reportedly drove through Oshodi to Mile 2 and Agege.
They shot dead an Okada rider in Ijesha on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
At Agege, the police reportedly engaged the robbers who shot sporadically and headed toward Ogba. On their way, a driver of a commercial bus, (Lagos XQ336 EKY) was shot dead. His vehicle crashed into a ditch at the Railway crossing.
The robbers, who made a detour and were retreating through the Oba Akran Road, met the patrol team and double crossed their van.
The bodies of the policemen were first taken to the Area ‘F’ Police Command, Ikeja before being taken to the mortuary.
When our reporter visited Oba Akran in front of Guinness Plc, about 10 patrol vehicles and an Armoured Personal Carrier (APC) were on the scene. An eyewitness, a commercial motorcycle operator who simply identified himself as Kabiru, told The Nation that he was following the SUV in which the robbers were operating, unknown to him that they were armed robbers, until he saw how they suddenly double crossed the patrol team and started shooting at the policemen.
He said: “It was like a war scene. I saw death with my eyes. They shot dead two policemen. I took cover near the war zone.”
Lagos Police chief Umar Manko, who confirmed the incident, said the gunmen were being chased by policemen.
“The police got wind of their operation and were chasing them and, in the process, two officers were killed,” Manko said.
He noted that the hoodlums killed the policemen because the patrol vehicle was met in an Isolated place.
He said he suspected that the bandits had snatched a police communication equipment, with which they monitored police directives.
On the bureau de change killings, the police chief said: “I cannot confirm either the death of the civilians or the robbery at the bureau de change because I do not have that fact, but I’ll contact you once I am put in the know.”
Confirming the attack on of one of its men LASTMA spokesman Richard Omolase said he was informed by zonal head Kester Ademola that the officer was shot at Anthony were the agency has its zonal office.
He gave the name of the affected person as Sosan M, a level four officer. Who is recuperating at the Gbagada General Hospital.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information Lateef Ibirogba described the sporadic shooting by hoodlums as ugly and unfortunate, especially on a Sunday afternoon. He extended regards to the injured.
He said although no society was free of crime, the state government was committed to ensuring that people can go to bed with their eyes closed.”The Lagos State Government will always make sure that there is co-operation between the government and the security agencies to kick crime out of the state. We are putting in our best to get crime and criminals out of Lagos as well as ensure that security agencies live up to their responsibilities.”We will always complement security agencies to make Lagosians and other residents go to bed with their eyes closed,” he said.