Banks and some shops remained shut at noon on Tuesday after some land grabbers and thugs invaded Isheri-Oke area of Lagos State. They were however resisted by some residents in the area as they tried to enter Magodo Phase One to claim the area.

After writing and pasting some orders on walls of residential and commercial buildings including the banks, they tried to enforce their claimed order in other areas comprising of Olowoira and Magodo.

Burnt tyres littered the roads which prevented people from going to work or coming in.

However, normalcy was gradually regaining its stance in the afternoon, but the two banks operating in the area remained shut, while a few businesses opened to customers.

Speaking with newsmen, the Baale of Isheri-Oke, Chief Albert Bankole, said some youths informed him and some of the elders on Monday night that a person called Jamiu Odunsi, who was not resident in the area and wanted to be a traditional ruler in the area, was planning an attack. The elders immediately went to the Police station at Isheri to report.

The baale said, “We heard that they said they have a judegment and that they will come and paste the orders in the area. We sent people to go to the Police station but we could not see the DPO, they asked us to come back in the morning.

“By 6.30am to 7.30 am today, we still went back but they said we could not see the DPO. It was then we heard that the thugs had started attacking some areas with some police and amour tanks; this showed they came for

“Our people came out and resisted them so they could not enter further. It was later when people were burning tyres on the roads and no one could move in or out that the DPO came out and addressed them before the thugs left.”

When journalists visited GTBank in the area, some customers who wanted to enter the banks were disappointed to see the place shut.

An official of the bank who spoke to them said, “We were just opening the bank this morning to commence operations when some people came with police officials and said they had court order to take over this place. They sent out all our staff and customers and we had to close the bank.

“They even broke the chain in front of the bank that we used to lock this place. Right now, our staff have been sent to other branches and we cannot open until we get order from our head office.”

At the Polaris Bank which was also the area, the situation was the same.

An official of the bank said, “We were about opening when the people came with security people. They entered the bank and drove out everybody so we cannot operate right now. They locked the gate beside the bank with padlock and chain before they left.”

When our correspondent went back to the baale’s palace, the Area Commander, Ogudu Ojota, Sanusi Mohammad, who addressed the residents, assured them of their protection.

The Mayoreses of Ikosi Isheri LCDA, Mrs Sami Badadada, also assured the residents that the Lagos State Government was aware of the issue and would look into it.

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