- Egbatedo, Kolawole, Atelewo, Obalende, Arikalamu, Riverside As Blackspots
- Yahoo Boys, Ladies As Soft Targets
By Our Reporter
THUGGERY activities are increasing unabated in Osogbo, capital of the State of Osun, investigations have revealed.
Findings by OSUN DEFENDER revealed the hoodlums who have multiplied in number, have been terrorising residents of the state capital with impunity.
The thugs had been notorious for extorting prospective house owners, as they go around various construction sites in the state capital to demand for money from potential landlords.
They collect between N20, 000 and N300, 000, depending on the size of the structures, land and status of each of the house owners.
But, according to investigations by the medium, the thugs have included ‘full scale extortion’ and daylight robbery into their operations, targeting the internet fraudsters (Yahoo boys) and ladies.
Findings revealed that the hoodlums are specifically targeting the internet fraudsters, ladies and any young man that is well dressed in English attire.
Investigations also reveal that the hoodlums are now using Point of Sales (POS) Machine to extort their victims in Osogbo who are unfortunate to come across them.
OSUN DEFENDER noted that areas where the heightened extortion and daylight robbery by the louts are rampant are: Egbatedo, Kolawole, Atelewo, River Side, Obalende, Arikalamu, Idi-Omo and Orita Ahmadiyyah, all in Osogbo.
Findings by the medium also indicate that some of the hoodlums disguise as commercial motorcycle operators (okada men), carry passengers and take them through the areas where they have their gang members waiting to extort them.
According to findings, when the commercial motorcycle operators are passing through the area, they will slow down, allow the other hoodlums to stop the motorcycle, harass the passengers and dispossess them of their belongings.
Notorious for this kind of operations are Egbatedo, Kolawole, Obalende and Atelewo.
A student of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree who is currently undergoing Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), in the state capital, claimed he fell victim of the hoodlums’ extortion at Egbatedo in the first week of January, 2022.
The student who pleaded anonymity said: “I took a bike at Old Garage to take me to Isale Agbara. The bike passed through Egbatedo and suddenly, some guys came out. They quickly removed the key of the bike because he was moving slowly. The guys asked me to come down. They collected my phone and ransacked me. They gave the bike man his motorcycle key and he left me there.
“I had N500 on me and I offered the guys but they said they wanted N5,000. They collected my ATM and inserted it into a POS Machine with them. They discovered that I don’t have N1,000 in the account. They cursed me, and even threatened to kill me but I was begging them. I told them that I am a student and I was going to my place of SIWES. They returned my belongings to me after that but they did not return the N500. They actually thought I am into internet fraud (yahoo-yahoo).”
A resident of Fagbewesa who simply gave her name as Alimat said her phone was collected at Kolawole area of Osogbo around 6:30pm when she was going home from Sabo.
Alimat said: “I was on the bike pressing my phone, I did not know when we got to Kolawole. I just discovered that some people jumped into the front of the moving bike and forced it to stop. They collected my phone and the little change in my bag. I did not know the exact amount.
“The bike man was pleading with these guys to let us go. He said he could not leave me there and they started slapping him. They said I should bring N10,000 if I want to collect my phone and I told them I don’t have that amount. They brought out a POS machine and I was forced to withdraw N5,000 for them. They allowed us to go after that. That was about 6:30pm.”
When asked if she reported to the police, Alimat said she did not because of the impression that the police will not act on the case.
A male resident of Kolawole area of Osogbo, who is part of the ‘hard guys’ in the area said he was part of a team that rescued a lady from the two thugs who abducted her in the area.
He said: “About two weeks ago, I joined my people to rescue a girl who was abducted by some guys. Those guys do not reside in this area. Two of them came with a bike, pointed gun at this lady who was on another bike that was passing through this area.
“The lady’s bike was forced to stop. They collected the bag and phone of the lady and asked her to sit on their own bike. They threatened to kill her if she refused. I know the guy that held the gun, his name is S.K. I was watching them from afar with two other persons. We shouted on them and they sped off with the lady on the bike. We pursued them to Obalande area with two motorcycles and they dropped the lady and fled.
“Some of the guys terrorising this Kolawole are not from here. They will come here to commit crime and flee.”
It was gathered that commuters are always scared of passing through Arikalamu and Obalende because of the rampant incident of bag snatching and extortion by the hoodlums.
A resident of Gbonjubola area, Mrs. Nike Adeboye, told the medium that Arikalamu is not safe to pass anytime from 7pm nowadays. She said: “The boys at Arikalamu have constituted themselves into government. They always harass passerbys and commuters. They will force you to give them money.
“At evening time, around 7pm, you will see these guys from their hideouts, stopping commercial motorcycles and extorting the passengers. They also go about with POS machine.
“They are taking the advantage of the poor condition of the road to perpetrate their evil act. The government should do something about these hoodlums before they start robbing us at our various homes.
Experience at Riverside
OSUN DEFENDER was at River Side, a popular joint in Osogbo between 9 and 10pm on Wednesday. It was noted that the hoodlums, some of which are members of cult groups, hung around the area, monitoring the movement of people.
Three persons, who were suspected to be into internet fraud (yahoo-yahoo) were accosted at different times by the hoodlums.
One of their victims was about to enter his Lexus 350 car when he was accosted by the hoodlums.
Our reporters were hearing their Yoruba language conversation from afar. The hoodlums said: “alaye, bawa mun. oti gbope, jeki awa naa gbope. Ma lo lera rara o, Igboro lawa wa o” (Mr man bring it (money). You have hit jackpot, let us share from it. Don’t resist at all, we are on the streets.”
“The suspected internet fraudster dipped his hand in the pocket and gave them certain amount which the hoodlums rejected. He later added some amount to it before he was allowed to go.”
The second victim was accosted right from when he stepped out of the Riverside building. He was a fair in completion young man. He gave the hoodlums a parcel of N200 (N20,000) and promised to see them some other day.
But the third victim, who was with two ladies, insisted that he was not going to give the hoodlums a dime. He told them he gave N10,000 to some of them four days ago under duress. After about two minutes conversation, the hoodlums resorted to threatening the young man but he didn’t budge. The hoodlums left him to waylay another person coming out of the place.
Two commercial sex workers who our reporters had engaged in discussion as prospective customers told the medium that the thugs were usually at the place on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
According to the women of easy virtue, the hoodlums have personal POS machine they use to obtain money from any of their victims who do not have cash to offer.
Asked why the louts have not been harassing them, the ladies said they had fought the thugs and met some of their leaders at the early stage of the extortion.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the police and operatives of Osun Security Network known as Amotekun have arrested some of the hoodlums but others have continued to terrorise residents of the state capital.
Thugs Are The New Govt. In Osun
A broadcast media expert, Mr. Thompson Taiwo, shared his experience on the extortionate activities of the hoodlums in Osogbo. He posted on his Facebook wall on Tuesday to lament the increasing rate of thugs in the state capital.
He wrote: “The proliferation of thugs in Osogbo is a cause for concern but I guess the government of the day does not see it like that. Those boys are probable weapons needed to decimate opposition and win elections. My medium, Rave FM, has repeatedly called the attention of the government to the fact that Osogbo is becoming a den of hoodlums. In fact, they have their fieldoms where they collect ‘owo ile’.
“I had an experience with two of them today. My son and I went to eat at a restaurant in town. Unknown to us, these guys, riding on a motorcycle, had trailed us to the place and waited still we were done eating.
“As we entered the car to leave, I rolled down the window only to see them calling my attention to what they had got to say. They eulogised me for minutes and proceeded to their mission. ‘We need 10k (N10, 000) and we know you will give us’, they said. It was the audacity for me. I asked them why they were confident I had the money, they replied by saying: ‘ Baba, egun moni, eyan o mo’. They properly thought big car means big money.
“I told them that I did not have 10k. In fact, I insisted I had no money to give them. What service did they offer me that warranted the amount? Hungry looking beasts looking for whom to devour. When they saw that I would not part with any money, they ranted for minutes and threatened to deal with me later. I laughed and they left.
“I often see many of these thugs at different junctions. When they hail me in their usual way, I give them money. I give them because they are never going to impose any amount on me. I part with what I can afford. I have heard of how some residents were manhandled by those hoodlums because they refused to bow to their demands.
“Government knows these thugs but will it act? Your guess is as good as mine.
“Thugs are the new government in Osun. They place levies on residents. The government knows them but is not ready to confront them.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs Yemisi Opalola said the police are committed to protecting lives and properties of the people of the state, urging members of the public to provide information on the activities of the hoodlums to the security agency.
Opalola said victims of the extortion and other residents of the state should report to the police whenever it happens.
She said the police would intensify effort at ripping off the state of crimes and criminal elements.