If Olajide Taiwo, a graduate of the Federal Polytechnic, Idah, Kogi State, and Taiwo Peters, a secondary school student had any harbinger of the fate that befell them when armed robbers from hell attacked some communities in Yagba West Local Government Area of the state recently, they wouldn’t have stepped out of their homes on an ill-fated day.
The duo, who shared the same first name “Taiwo” also shared the same fate that led to their deaths when the trigger-happy hoodlums held Egbe and Odo Ere communities hostage for three days during which they attacked three new generation banks, leaving anguish and horror in its wake.
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Daily Trust Saturday gathered that both ‘Taiwos’ lost their lives gruesomely at different locations during the attack. While the male Taiwo who was at his duty post as a security guard at one of the banks that were attacked was shot by the robbers, the female Taiwo who was on holiday was hit by a stray bullet at a shop where she had gone to assist her mother at Odo Ere.
The late OlajideTaiwo, we also gathered, had abortively toiled for jobs for several years after graduation, until he got the security guard job with the bank where he was killed. Sources close to him said he was very hardworking and dedicated to his job.
Our correspondent also gathered that nine persons, including a senior police officer, also lost their lives, while several others sustained injuries during the gruesome attack.
Also, a police inspector, Gbenga Bamisaiye, was disarmed and killed by irate youths in Odo Ere during the attack.
A source said he was warding off the huge crowd that had thronged a police station to catch a glimpse of the nabbed robbers when an accidental discharge occurred, killing three persons, including a baby.
The dare-devil robbers, too, had their own dose of the calamity as two female members of the rampaging gang were reportedly killed shortly after they had been captured from the bush where they had gone into hiding after their strike.
Reliable sources told our correspondent that one of the suspected robbers was also fished out from the bush and killed.
Locked in this battle of wits and guts that brought grief to many families in the communities were the robbers, vigilante members, the youth and policemen.
While the robbers struck to steal the wealth and joy of the communities, the vigilante, the youth and policemen responded to save the community and the people from the sorrows that the hoodlums had come to unleash.
By the time the dust settled, the communities had lost loved ones as well as valuable property worth millions of naira.
The residents of the sleepy towns of Egbe and Odo Ere woke up to meet the fateful day, unknown to them that danger was lurking on that very day.
It was gathered that the robbers struck by 3pm and announced their presence with the attack of Egbe police station with improvised explosive devices which released a loud bang.
Our correspondent gathered that the success of the attacks on the police stations in both towns weakened the coordination capacity of the policemen in the areas so much that they could not respond quickly and adequately. The invading robbers were said to have had a field day for three hours, carrying out their activities.
During the attack, a suspect on whom a large amount of naira notes believed to be stolen from banks and POS during the attack was found, reportedly confessed that about 30 of them drawn from their various gangs in the country invaded the communities.
He was quoted as saying that having succeeded in neutralising the police posts in a simultaneous operation in both towns; they went out to raid banks and POS operators with ease. Shortly after, they disappeared into a bush with their loots and escaped to their various destinations.
Our correspondent, however, gathered that most of the robbers were stranded in the bush as they could not find their bearings to safety. Some of them were arrested by the search party on their trail and ended up in the police net.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Idrisu Dabban, said the command was on top of the situation.
He also assured that with the assistance of other sister security agencies, especially vigilantes and stakeholders, those connected with the incident would be apprehended and brought to book.
Governor Yahaya Bello has also vowed to smoke out bandits that had taken the state as their safe haven. He warned that they would be carried out in bags out of the state. He, however, commended security agencies as well as the chairman of Yagba West Local Government Area and his team for doing a good job that led to the arrest of some of the hoodlums.
Recall that the same daredevil robbers invaded a police station in Insalu, the headquarters of Yagba East Local Government Area, last year and killed more than seven policemen on duty, including residents.