Residents of MTN, Mowo and Atipromeh communities who are counting their loses as a result of the demolition of their building by members of the Nigerian Police Force are also lamenting the regular attacks by hoodlums since Monday when bulldozers and caterpillars came crushing their structures. According to the residents hoodlums have cashed on the opportunity of the homelessness of the residents to attack them at night since they are now vulnerable.
As at Friday when this reporter visited the communities no fewer than 12 cases of such attacks were reported. The hoodlums come at night to pick items ranging from television sets, plasma, refrigerators, power generating sets, phones and other household items. The residents who still sleep in the open spaces under the harmattan cold outside their demolished building since they have no place to go say they have continued to lose properties as they are at the mercy of hoodlums.
One Beatrice Avonseh said, “they came on Wednesday night. They were about six. They just went straight into the debris picking and packing items. We tried to stop them but they beat us mercilessly and threatened to kill us if we dare make noise or disturb their operation. They made away with my television set and generator. Between Monday and Tuesday the situation was not like this because there was heavy presence of the police all through the day and night. But as soon as the police left after completion of the demolition the hoodlums took over. To them it is like seeking for the spoils of war. It is just like we are no longer Nigerians. We are like outcasts. We are not wanted.
“What is there left for us. After the demolition by the police the hoodlums now pounced on us and they have made this area a ground for greener pastures. The next building to ours own by an Igbo man was also attacked on Thursday night. His generator, pumping machine, aluminum roofing sheets were stolen by the hoodlums and in an attempt to stop them, he got a stab on his right shoulder. Each passing day since Monday 16 of December 2013 has been nightmarish. We don’t know what will happen next especially now that we have been told that the police will start fencing the area from Monday.
“We know that between this weekend and next week when the fencing work will begin the hoodlums will sweep this area in a more ferocious manner and that means some of us will be killed because that will be the last for us and them.”