The Oasis Reporters
December 13, 2018
Night vigils and prayers go on every night in Churches located in Ibadan, regional headquarters of the Yoruba ethnic group of Nigeria’s South West. First time visitors usually get misled into believing that holiness has spiked up in the city, since October 2018 due to the seven nights a week vigils usually held by sturdy men who look like warriors.
Actually this has nothing to do with holiness or godliness. Church members have drafted rosters for all the men divided into seven groups to spend one night per group in the church, once a week as a vanguard to ward off robbers who specialize in burgling churches at night.
Some of the items they steal include musical instruments, chairs, television sets, satellite receiver gadgets, computers, printers, cash and other valuables.
As banks do not open on Sundays, the night is usually the busiest for the robbers who operate because they smell the whiff of Church tithes, pledges and offerings. After blowing up many Church safes, banks have been prevailed upon to make arrangements for the boxing of Church cash after every offering has been taken.
Hotels too have not been spared and what has shocked many residents of Ibadan is that robbers invade homes by breaking through kitchen doors, and until all the valuables like phones, laptops, cash, flat screen or plasma TV sets have been stolen, no resident wakes up.
Traditionalists have attributed this to charms or “incantations uttered with the blowing of native chalk towards the targeted houses*, according to a traditionalist who spoke to our correspondent.
Though a modernist Insists that the burglars release sleep inducing hard drugs into the atmosphere, such that residents sleep like wood, till the end of the burglary.
Police station after police station in Ibadan record as many robberies in their crime book every day, yet not all house break-in incidents are reported.
Ekiti residents in the same South West have recently decried the increased rate of robberies and killings that are going on in the state.
Residents and stakeholders in Ekiti State have called for improved security lamenting over increased bank robberies and killings in the state.
The residents were recently joined by members of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in the state as they protested the killing of one of their colleagues who was abducted and later killed by his abductors.
Some of the victims of the spate of killings in the state include a former Commissioner of the Federal Character Commission and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bunmi Ojo who was shot dead in August this year, by yet to be identified gunmen.
Also, APC treasurer in the state, Moses Adeoye, was murdered in October, in Otun, Moba Local Government Area of the state.
Three policemen and one other person were reportedly killed in October at Ijero Ekiti, Ekiti State during a bank robbery. The robbers were said to have shot the policemen and the three died on the spot.
A member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Michael Adedeji also died in the early hours of Monday, October 29 following gunshot wounds sustained in the head on Friday, October 26. Adedeji was shot by unknown gunmen while travelling to Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Also a monarch, Oba Gbadebo Ogunsakin was stabbed while returning from a palace meeting.
The residents have therefore called for swift intervention over theses increased criminal activities despite assurances given by relevant agencies.
They believe the police can do more with government and ensure citizens have a sense of safety.
One of the residents of the communities told Channels Television that, “something urgent needs to be done. The people (robbers) operate like they own the land.”
The state governor Kayode Fayemi in response to the spate of killings said the government is working with security agencies by providing adequate security apparatus needed to perform effectively, in order to put an end to the violence.
“I am very concerned about this and I am working very hard to ensure that we put a stop to this spate of violence,” he said.
Similar occurrences have been reported in Ogun, Osun and Ondo states, with security forces solving very few of the crime puzzles.
A concerned police commentator called for increased neighborhood watch groups, as well as the installation of secret CCTV cameras to record activities in neighborhoods, aimed at monitoring the movement of criminal elements at unholy hours.
Additional reporting by Channels TV.