Residents of the Igbogbo Kingdom in Ikorodu, one of the areas being ravaged by the deadly Badoo cult gang have narrated to Pulse what they go through.
The ingenious killings carried out by the gang almost on a daily basis has forced many residents to flee the area for fear of being victims while the security operatives have not been able to do much to curb the malaise.
Following on the heels of the gang activities have been the incessant cases of jungle justice where suspected members of the gang who have been caught have been either beaten to death or set ablaze.
It is on record that many innocent souls may have been victims of the jungle justice with a comedian and Master of Ceremony being one of such victims.
On Thursday, July 13, 2017, Pulse went to Ikorodu to have an on the spot assessment and get the people to talk on the menace and the persistent cries of the people were that the government should come to their aid to help wipe out the gang and curtail its activities.
Our visit took us to the Igbogbo community, one of the areas where the Badoo gang has been ravaging in the recent past and we were able to get the Oba of Igbogbo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Semiu Orimadegun Kasali, the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, a lawyer, High Chief Tajudeen Onasanya, the Odofin of Igbogbo Kingdom and members of the community to speak.
Oba Kasali, the Emugoriade 1
"The menace of the Badoo cult gang in Ikorodu has been worrisome, I must say. Though their activities in Igbogbo Kingdom have been curtailed to a large extent, it is still something we are worried about.
It will interest you to know that the gang wrote a letter to the community intimating us that they will be coming to wreck havoc here, so I decided to take measures to put them in check.
I was angered by such effrontery and dared them to come to Igbogbo because we are prepared for them. With my chiefs and the royal council, we carried out some cleansing of the land and invited the security agencies where I briefed them on the measures we have taken and I can say they have been very cooperative.
The Commissioner of Police in the state and the Area Commander here have been very helpful just as our youths have taken it upon themselves to organize themselves into vigilante groups to tackle the ugly situation.
I will not fold my hands and see the gang coming here to give my people sleepless nights.
I am also strongly against any jungle justice and I have warned my people never to involve themselves in such. I have told them any suspect they arrest should be handed over to the police and allow the law to handle it.
There was a suspect that was caught a few weeks ago and the youths wanted to mete out jungle justice on him but I prevailed and made sure he was brought to my palace and I invited the police and handed him over to the authorities.
I can assure my people that they can go about their lawful activities as Igbogbo is very safe and our people are very accommodating even to non-indigenes."
Chief Tajudeen Onasanya, the Odofin of Igbogbo Kingdom
"Just like Kabiyesi has said, Igbogbo is relatively safe and calm because we have been able to put measures in place to checkmate the notorious killer gang.
Their activities have been roundly condemned by well-meaning people in Ikorodu and Igbogbo is not left out.
We frown at such as every life is sacred and no one should take any life no matter what. What the useless gang does is against any form of sanity and humanity and we will not allow them to operate in Igbogbo.
Our youths have been very vigilant and have organized themselves into vigilante groups. They do not sleep and parade the community regularly to checkmate any one who will want to ferment any trouble.
The gang started in Ibeshe and moved to other places like Odogunya, Aga, and other places but they will not have a fertile ground in Igbogbo.
We have also involved the police and other security agencies and Kabiyesi is constantly in touch with the agencies and I can tell you the Badoo gang cannot have a field day in Igbogbo."
Mr. Adekoya Kehinde, the Secretary to Oba of Igbogbo
"All I can say is that Igbogbo is very safe for residents, both indigenes, and non-indigenes because Kabiyesi has been able to put measures to curtail their activities.
There has not been any serious case of the Badoo gang operations in Ikorodu like we hear in places like Odogunya, Ibeshe, Aga and other places because Kabiyesi is very proactive.
He is a lawyer and he will not allow anything to truncate the peace we enjoy in Igbogbo. When the gang threatened to come to Igbogbo, he invited the security agencies in and briefed them on the situation and as you can see, everyone is going about his or her business without fear.
When the problem started, Kabiyesi called all his chiefs and held series of meetings with them on the best methods to tackle it. The meeting did not just end in the palace as Kabiyesi also invited the security agencies and held meetings with them.
After that, he invited all the stakeholders, the CDAs in Igbogbo and elders in every area and they all converged here at the palace and everyone spoke their minds and we took some decisions aimed at saving lives and properties of the people.
Here in Igbogbo, every man, every woman is a vigilante and very security conscious because security is everyone's business. That is the situation. In fact, Kabiyesi issued a communique to that effect.
On the issue of jungle justice, Kabiyesi is totally against it. He will not allow anyone to take the laws into his hands no matter the provocation. There was one boy who was arrested by the vigilante people and was brought to the palace.
The crowd was very restive and wanted to give him instant justice but Kabiyesi made sure he was protected and he was handed over to the police. The suspect was returned to the palace by the police and the angry crowd wanted him to be handed over to them.
They wanted to break into the palace to snatch the suspect but Kabiyesi had to call in soldiers who dispersed the crowd and took the suspect away to safety.
Even the state government has been very impressed with what the Kabiyesi has done in terms of security.
Going by measures put in place, both traditionally and otherwise, I can safely say that the Badoo gang cannot operate here."
Abdulateef Omotayo Odusanya [Oba's cousin]
"I can say that the Badoo gang cannot penetrate Igbogbo because the youths have taken it upon themselves to form vigilante groups.
We do not sleep as we parade the whole community all through the night. We know that they will not come here because we are fully prepared to tackle them and break their stronghold.
I will advise anyone who thinks he wants to make fast money by joining the Badoo gang to stay out of these criminal activities because it is not worth it. I don't know if it is as a result of the hardship in the country that makes them go into these kinds of crimes but I think for every hardship, there is always a solution.
There is something you can do to get yourself out of the hard situation rather going into crime.
On jungle justice, I do not support it at all. Kabiyesi himself has always been preaching against it and tells everyone to say no to jungle justice. Each time any Badoo suspect is caught in this town, our youths will always remember the King's injunction of saying no to jungle justice.
He always tells us to hand over any suspect to the police instead of taking the laws into their hands."
Iyaloja of Igbogbo Market [Trader]
"We want the government to help us with these Badoo boys. They are making life really difficult for the people. We cannot go out freely and when we come to the market like this, we fear for the lives of our children back home because we do not if they are safe.
We cannot sell in the market freely like before because we don't know when they can strike. We are living in fear and we cannot close our eyes at night for fear of being attacked.
It is God we are looking up to and we want the government to help us o. We are begging because we are tired of running from them. You cannot walk on the road safely because you don't know when they will strike you.
The police should also come and help us by patrolling Igbogbo because our lives are in danger."
Iya Ibeji [Trader]
"These Badoo people have been holding us to ransom in Igbogbo. We are not safe anymore because we do not know how to tackle them.
It is only the government that can help us because our lives are in danger. The police come here once in a while and only in the afternoon. Who will protect us in the night?
We are living in fear and we cannot take it anymore. Please help us beg Governor Ambode to help us. Igbogbo is also in Lagos and he should have mercy on us and come to our aid. We are begging because we are dying."
Dada Kareem (Butcher)
"This Badoo people don make us dey fear well well. Ikorodu no safe again like before. We thank God now say task force enter Igbogbo yesterday and dem arrest plenty boys.
We no dey sleep for night because we dey patrol all the areas make we for secure our place. As I dey market so, my mind no dey rest because my wife and children dey for house and na only God dey protect dem.
Me na from Oyo State but na here I dey hustle to make money take feed my family. Before, I dey wake up very early make I go abattoir to get meat wey I go sell but now because of Badoo, I no dey fit wake up early go out because person no go know whether dem dey for road.
You suppose wake up early go slaughter [abbatoir] so that you go fit see correct meat buy but when you wait till 10 to commot, you no go see good meat buy.
How person go take rest from these people? As I dey market now, my children dey for house and you no go know wetin dey happen. Badoo serious for this place o. Na make God help us.
Dem don enter three house for this Igbogbo and dem don kill people well well. Yesterday before task force come, dem enter one place for Carwash and kill people. This thing is too much.
Make de government help us. No be only for election time dem go remember us. As election dey come now, dem don begin come make we vote for dem but make dem help us. I dey shout now o. Make Ambode help us abeg.
For jungle justice, I no like am at all. E no good at all but we dey beg government make dem help us."
Lekan Olaleye [Butcher]
"The thing wey dey happen for Ikorodu here don tire us o. Every day na Badoo dis, Badoo dat. E don too much. Dem catch one of dem last week and people dey say make dem leave dem.
Dem wan burn am but people no gree, dem say make dem call police. Me sef we dey do Olode [neighbourhood watch] for ourselves. We dey do everything, burn tire for night, patrol everywhere. Na because of dis Badoo.
If people catch dem and beat dem, dem still dey many. We no sabi how dem take plenty like dat. Na only for Ikorodu here dem dey and anything wey government fit do to take help us, make dem do abeg.
Even did our Igbogbo here no dey safe again. Na Badoo today, Badoo tomorrow. I no fit talk pass dat one.
For me o, I support jungle justice. I support am gan ni. Make people dey burn dem when dem catch dem. I support am well well. Make people dey burn dem. We no want Badoo for Ikorodu, so anyone wey people catch, make dem burn dem.
Me I no go fit follow burn dem but people wey dey burn dem make dem go ahead. I support dem. People dey vex. people wey Badoo kill dem wife and children dey vex no be small.
Dem no dey kill one person o, na family, plenty people dem dey kill for inside one house. E don tire us. We dey beg dem make dem no kill people finish for Ikorodu o."
Okon Akpan [Okada rider]
" Though I am not from Ikorodu, I live here with my family. I have lived here for a long time but now, everywhere is not safe again.
This Badoo gang has put fear in the minds of people and we are no longer safe again. We live in fear and we beg the government to help us because they are not allowing us to live in peace.
You cannot go out once it is 8 pm because you do not where they will be hiding. If there is an emergency at night and you need to rush to the hospital, there is no way you can go because of Badoo.
We are begging the government to help us because the fear they have created is not helping us at all. I came here to look for my daily bread they are not allowing us to live in peace."
Obus [Okada rider]
"My brother, these Badoo people have really caused havoc in this Ikorodu and no one is safe again. You cannot walk freely for fear that they might attack you at any time.
When it is night, you cannot sleep with your eyes closed because you don't know when they might visit you.
My family members back home in Delta State are very worried and they keep asking me why I continue to live in Ikorodu but where can I go?
I have lived in Igbogbo for many years and before now, the place was very safe but now, Badoo has made it difficult for us to live our lives.
We are calling on the government and the police to help us. You people in the media should also help us talk to the government to come to our aid because we are no longer safe here."
"Oga, na dis talk na hin go make government help us? Even if we talk from now till tomorrow, dem dey hear? All de one wey we talk since, wetin dem do?
We dey suffer, we dey hungry and now Badoo don join. Na wetin we do dem? Shebi dem don kill all my people throway. [Crying] Dat man wey dem kill for Odogunyan, my family, na my person. Na wetin government don do?
Which action Nigeria take? We get government at all? Shebi dem know wey de Badoo people dey abi you wan tell me say dem no know? Make dem go find dem nah?
Person no dey sleep for house again. See everywhere don dry finish because people dey fear to come out. See our market as e dry finish. Na wetin we go do?"