Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta

Hell was let loose Sunday at Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State when some military personnel invaded the popular Lagos motor park and attacked drivers.

The military personnel beat many of the drivers and vandalised many vehicles. Some passersby were also injured during the melee.

Narrating the incident to our correspondent, a union chairman at the motor park, Rotimi Okunowo, popularly called Rothmans, expressed shock at the incident.

Nigerian soldiers

Nigerian soldiers

“What happened was that one of them, who was in a mufti, came to the park around 6:30 a.m. and boarded a vehicle. Instead of paying his fare, he claimed to be a ‘staff’ and refused to pay. When asked to identify himself, he got annoyed and attacked the driver. After they were separated by other drivers present, the military personnel left and later came back with about 20 men wielding cutlasses, guns, broken bottles and other dangerous weapons.

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“They beat a motor park attendant called Ademola Dosunmu, a.k.a. Popson, and macheted him. They also took him away.

While going they vandalised many vehicles parked at the motor park and chased away park attendants and commuters.

“It’s not the first time the military personnel are doing this. They have done it many times.They come to the park in mufti and refused to identify themselves and when challenged, they attack drivers and park attendants.

“I was during the scuffle that my phone was smashed and about six vehicles had their tyres punctured by the rampaging military personnel. They pursued me up to Ore Ofe hospital. They were firing into the air as they pursued me.

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“The government should assist us by calling these people to order. You need to see how they attacked Popson. They macheted him in different parts of his body.

“We gathered that the military men were those monitoring the pipeline in the area,” Okunowo stated.

Before our correspondent left the motor park, two Hilux vans with OP MESA personnel arrived the park with the attendant they took away.

Comrade Abolore Bello and Mr. Alatishe, both NURTW chairmen at the park, also decried the action of the military personnel.

“The present government in the state has spent a lot on security and what is expected from the masses is to support the government.

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Our workers are not pipeline vandals. The government should save us from incessant attacks by soldiers under the guise of pursuing pipeline vandals,” Alatishe stated.

When contacted on phone, Army spokesman in Ogun State, Ngude, said investigation on the incident is ongoing. “I will remain silent for now pending a thorough investigation of the incident,” he said.