The security situation in Nigeria’s busiest city seems to be deteriorating by the day as armed robbery and other related crimes have taken the headlines of recent events happening in Lagos. The events of March 12 2015 cannot easily be forgotten as it left a sour taste in the minds of commuters and residents of Lekki. A daring set of armed robbers held Lagosians hostage by shooting sporadically to scare of pedestrians and motorist. The robbers operated unhindered and freely for over 30 minutes, unfortunately for the victims of the armed robbery attack which included three policemen and a hawker help could not come fast enough.
The gang of twelve stormed the Lekki Peninsula via the expansive waterways using a speedboat shooting into the air as they reached the shores and escaping via the same means. It’s disturbing to find that a robbery of such magnitude happened at the commercial nerve center of Africa’s largest economy by GDP. Another robbery was held this time at the water linked town of Ikorodu, with the robbers who were led by a lady escaping through the waterways. The robbers used sophisticated weaponry and dynamites to blast their way into the banks and carting away large sums of money. The Ikorodu robbery incident happened directly in front of a police station, with the men in black suddenly nowhere to be found.
Luckily no life was lost although four individuals were injured, the robbers faced little or no resistance in getting away with their booty via the waterways. The robbers that attacked the bank at ikorodu held sway for over an hour with no police or security personnel coming to dislodge them, this is despite the donation of crime-fighting equipment like gun boats and weapons by the Lagos state government and its trust fund initiative to the marine police as well as other sectors of the police command.
It’s highly unfortunate the Lagos state police command has not been pro-active enough to stem the tide of armed robbery in Lagos and its environs although there reactionary moves have succeeded in reining in four robbery suspects in both the Ikorodu and Lekki robbery cases who have respectively made confessions regarding the roles they played in the fatal robbery. Apart from the robbery incidents other forms of criminal activities such as Touting, Molestations, knife jacking amongst others have been on the rise with various structures aiding the activities of miscreants in perpetuating such heinous crimes.
Public schools and abandoned buildings have become the abode of criminals as the illegal occupants use classrooms and facilities around such schools and buildings for their illegal activities. Such activities if not nipped in the bud could worsen the already chaotic security situation as safety is no longer assured especially at night times. This could derail the efforts of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in creating a twenty four hour economy as he had promised in his manifesto when campaigning to be the governor of Lagos.
To help reduce crime rate in the society, the Lagos state government should use the opportunity of having a friendlier government at the federal level to initiate the installation of Closed Circuit television cameras (CCTV) at numerous locations across the state. The Nigerian police force supported by the lagos state government should also utilize its equipment rather than the ceremonial uses it employs such sophisticated equipment for.
Touting as an act should also be frowned and the police utilized effectively as valuable man-hours are lost due to violence erupting from such preventable acts organised by miscreants. The Lagos state government should undertake a survey of uncompleted building with a view of dislodging criminal elements form inhabiting such places, the demolition of the Sure-P headquarters at the old Toll gate end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a step in the right direction as hoodlums had already taking over the base.
Public schools security should also be reinforced as thieves are already using Premiere day School Raufu William Street Surulere as a hideout and site for jumping into other people’s houses and properties in order to rob them. The current governor of lagos state should ensure that he exercises his powers as the chief security officer of lagos by making the security forces pro-active.
Adavize Alao is the Curator Mustard Press