Residents of Uselu, Ugbowo and environs in Benin City are faced with turbid times in the hands of some suspected armed criminal gangs who now parade adjoining streets and rob shop owners of their goods, kill and harrased harmless residents in broad day light operations.
With similar attacks also taking place in other areas of Textile Mill Road, Medical Stores, Okhoro, Isihor and Oluku axis during the day, it was learned that, some residents are seeking God’s intervention following the failure of police operatives to fully resume duty.
Despite battle for supremacy between cult rivalry groups who had embarked on embarrassing wanton killings of one another, hopes were gradually gathering momentum for a peaceful resolve between the groups.
Upper Sakponba had been the epicenter of the resultant clashes but with the recent presence of security joint task force there, it appears that, the fleeing suspects have taken Uselu-Ugbowo-
Medical Stores as their new abode.
The worst hit areas are residents of Good Samaritan Street,
Ediakean Primary School Road, Iyase, Ebo Junction and Etiosa suburb, who are forced to sleep early with doors closed and hallucinating similar attacks.
It was gathered that shop owners close up their shops by 4pm and resume sales at 8:30am with most areas around deserted and lonely enough for criminal onslaughts.
Commercial activities have hit all time low over incessant gun shots that had continued to rent the air at free will, resulting to killings in most cases.
Days ago, a man who was reportedly returning home from work was attacked and killed around First Federal Road with his lifeless body seen in the early hours of the following day.
According to a source, the deceased was few meters away from his place when he was reportedly hacked to death.
Similarly, a middle age furniture apprentice, who was at his furniture stall had his life was cut short by the suspected criminals who ambushed him while he was said to have gone to buy materials for a job.
A senior resident who spoke to us on condition of anonymity, said “the gang of armed robbers moved door-to-door, shooting or hacking some of their victims to death”.
According to him, “they rob traders’ shops on a daily basis. Everyday, we are afraid of the criminal elements. They move around brandishing guns and weapons of mass destruction.
“They do not only threaten their victims, but rob them of their belongings. Those children are very scary”.
“We are appealing to appropriate authorities to protect the live and properties they took oath for. We can’t sleep with our eyes closed”.
It would be recall that More than four police divisional stations across the city centre were burned recently in a peaceful protest against police brutality turned violence.
Statistics are difficult to come by, but many would say Edo State, particularly Benin City, has seen increase in crime in recent weeks.
The level of murder and robbery rates have risen since the advent of #EndSARS protest which was believed to have been hijacked by suspected hoodlums and cultists, leaving no fewer than 38 persons murdered since the cult clashes.
As at the time of filing this report, sounds from the security vehicles parading were heard moving into the flash points of the adjoining streets in Uselu to signal their presence in the danger zones as sounds of heavy gun shooting at every interval rent the air.