BENIN CITY- Wailings, pains, sorrows, fears and condemnations have continued to herald the ongoing gory killings by gun-toting hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protest to unleash carnage on police and correctional facilities in Benin City on Monday, October 19, 2020.
Since then, bullet-reddled corpses have on daily basis lie in pools of blood in some streets and major roads in the state capital.
The rampaging gangsters in their number, at different times and locations have robbed, maimed or opened fire on their targets, brazenly.
Shops and POS operators offices as well as banks costumers who make use of the Automated Teller Machines (ATM) have not been spared by the miscreants.
Investigation revealed that the absence of police personnel in the public space may have encouraged the lawlessness as the hoodlums operate unchallenged across the City.
Jungle justice had reportedly be delivered on suspected criminals apprehended by locals who were allegedly not received when they took suspects to police stations in their domains.
Two armed robbery suspects set ablaze in Upper Sokponba road in Benin city recently is a reference.
Rival cult groups are now using the opportunity to unleash deaths on their perceived enemies.
The robberies, maiming and killings have been taken beyond the usual, leaving victims, most of whom are males in their prime, to die like flies on the streets of Benin City.
On Friday, November 13, 2020 about 2:22pm our reporter was called to Igbinaduwa junction area of Upper Siluko road, Benin City.
On arrival at the scene, a young man lied helpless on the walkway bleeding profusely from his bullet riddled neck.
He gasped fruitlessly for available oxygen which visibly escaped from his badly damaged arteries, shortly, he gave up.
His hitherto red blood suddenly became purple-coloured, with eyes widely opened, as residents and passersby thronged the scene, wailing
He was said to have been gunned down by a member of a gang who left spot gallantly and unchallenged after the shooting.
Other victims reportedly killed in similar dastardly manner.
The fatality rate is over 29 as at Saturday, November 14, 2020, and its likely to increase owing to a very strong sense of impunity among the hoodlums.
The gunmen suspected to be cultists also dared the Nigeria Police Force when they waylaid and rained bullets on an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), in Benin City in the morning of Friday, November 13, 2020.
The officer, ACP Agabi Aboki Godiri is the Area Commander in charge of Benin metro.
He was immediately hospitalised after the shooting.
Last weekend the ACP was rumoured to have died from the bullet wounds.
Our reporter’s checks however revealed otherwise as he is fast recovery and may be discharged from the hospital, soon.
Further findings revealed that Upper Sokponba and Idogbo areas of the City are the epicentres of the violence as no fewer than eight casualties have been reported in the areas.
Among other areas that have been reportedly hit by the crisis are Ogida, Ikpoba hill, Siluko road, Evbomore, Mission road and Uselu.
Apparently disturbed by the incidents, residents have called on the Edo State government, police command and other security agencies in the state to intervene.
They appealed to the police to respect and obey their boss IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu who visited the state a fortnight ago to evaluate the level of damage done to police facilities as he eventually directed police personnel to return to duty post and defend themselves.
The Commissioner of police, Edo State CP Johnson Kokumo had during a chat with journalists assured that police would reclaim the public space.
He said the command would not allow hoodlums to take over the state officers and men of the command were working within existing limitations to restore normalcy to the state.
He also assured that all the criminals would soon be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrents to others.