Hundreds of people of all categories: workers, mothers, men, girls and youth were all at the meeting to deliberate. A lot of issues relating to the recent clashed between the two community: Layinka and Olumoku were deliberated which had led to the serious unrest and sleeplessness in the area. Residents are embittered over the way and manner the crisis had been handled so far by some people in the community.
Just to mention, the recent clash which took place at the bridge on Sunday 19/8/2018 was a python bite that confirmed the total collapse of the State in its social functions and responsibility. The whole entire Aiyetoro community was in rampage. Hundreds of people especially the Layinka youths who were trying to defend their neighborhood against Olumoku, were seriously injured. One of the SPN members Ajegunle who were at the explosion of the clashes, trying to calm both sides from killing each other was attacked with a cutlass in the head.
The Ajeromi Police Patrol Van stationed at the Bridge, a day before the protest held by women on 18/8/2018 was burnt to ashes by the rampage youths of Olumoku. As the situation got out of control immediately after the Ajeromi Police men came to maintain law and order. The army had to be called to intervene to quell the whole crisis from degenerating into sectarian war in the Aiyetoro community as once occurred in year 1999 and 2000 respectively.
However, what is more worrisome is the attitude of the Nigerian Police at Ajeromi Police Station and the Pako Police Station. According to report gathered, the Pako Policemen have been doing nothing practically and seriously to arrest the ugly situation. Instead they have decided to allow this rage to continue in the community especially from the other end of Olumoku that shares boundary with Layinka for weeks now since this unrest started.
Prior to Saturday’s meeting, about thirty women protested on Friday August 17 to the Ajeromi Police Station over the illegal raid conducted by the policemen of that station, tormenting innocent citizens in the community instead of giving them the necessary protection.
The protest was to demand the immediate release of those innocent youths arrested by the police, the police accused to be part of those committing terror and breaking into people's shops in the community. The DPO in the person was forced to grant them bail seeing the weight of the agitation that morning. About eight of them were immediately released. That same morning, the women marched to the Baale of Aiyetoro 1 (Fakule) to bring his attention to this matter.
Majority of the women who were petty traders at the inner part of Layinka street and along the Bridge, complained bitterly that for days since the gang war had started they hardly sell anything. In fact, they hardly sleep because of fear especially from the Olumoku boys. According to them, they relied on this petty trade to feed their families. They accused the government for failing to come to their rescue on this matter.
This unrest that has been on for the past two weeks is largely caused by the anti-poor policies of the APC, PDP and all bourgeois political parties at the Federal, State and Local Government level, whose policies for the past years have worsened the living condition of the poor masses in the community.
In fact, what has degenerated to this communal unrest in the Ajegunle community is the inability of the successive governments at all levels since 1999 to provide welfare and job opportunities. For the Socialist Party of Nigeria addressing such crises will require using public fund to adequately provide the need of people.
The spontaneous protest that SPN members participated prompted the Saturday August 18 meeting. The meeting was massively attended. Community leaders like the Community Development Association: Layinka 1 and 2 were in attendance. The Ward A councillor, the District Police Officer, activists, youths etc were all in the meeting to find out a lasting solution to this problem ravaging the whole entire neighbourhood.
Various reactions and proposals were raised by individual persons. Some of the proposals were the re-introduction of jungle justice left many years in Ajegunle which at some point led to serious sectarian clash then. The proposal of jungle justice was rejected. Others were of the view of constituting a vigilante group. If nothing is done the situation will get worse in the coming period, going by the recent breaking of shops in the neighborhood.
However, majority of the people mostly women and youths at the meeting bitterly expressed anger over the method and the attitude of the Nigeria police officers raiding innocent people illegally and forcing them to bail themselves with money as high as N25000. The DPO when addressing some of the issues on ground said he was going to deal with the issue of illicit raiding and extortion including disciplining officers who embark on it.
There was an argument at the meeting that police rank and file workers are well paid and there was no basis for extortion. We of the SPN strongly agree that the extortion of the masses by the police cannot be supported or justified. However, we hold that the Nigerian Policemen and women who are also workers suffer the same terrible living and working condition. Majority of them are not paid their salaries as at due. There is no welfare package for them especially when assigned for special mission.
Majority of these policemen are underpaid compare to the top echelons in the Nigerian Police who benefit largely from the security votes accrue to the APC, PDP bourgeois politicians in addition to looting of statutory allocations. The SPN support the democratic rights of the Nigerian police men and women to constitute a union that will defend their own interests for better pay, conditions and welfare while in the service and even after it.
For a meeting that started around 9:15 am and lasted for more than two hours and thirty minutes. Some practical proposals were put forward. That there is need to have a democratic women and youth task force or committee in the community. That a letter should be drafted to the Ifelodun LCDA and the Pako Police Station drawing their attention over the ongoing unrest between the two neighbourhoods in order to find a lasting solutions to the clash.
The Socialist Party of Nigeria holds both the government of Ambode and the Ayoola led Ajeromi Ifelodun APC administration culpable for the unrest because of their anti-poor policies and mismanagement of resources.
We in SPN understand very well that all the chief executives at the Federal, State and Local Government level collect security votes. For us in SPN it is a wastage of public fund on the so-called public officer holders, where there are thousands of need such fund can be used to improve on the living condition of people in communities. It is lack of social welfare and possibly acquisition skill programme that largely has contributed to this unrest.
If SPN is in power in Lagos State and local government area, the issue of social welfare shall be given priority in order to reduce drastically communal unrest caused by unemployment, lack of social welfare, etc. The public wastages on public officers will be cancelled in order to invest massively in the State to cater for the primary need of people. The government will be democratically run at the state and local council level with involvement of elected representatives of workers and community people in decisions on finances, projects and other activities of the government.