…Many of the stories are fake and video on Agege raid by robbers made-up too, Says Odumosu, CP, Lagos State
By Ayo Kehinde
Following the indefinite lockdown on Lagos, Ogun and The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, announced by President Buhari on Saturday, Lagos residents are facing another threat to their lives and property, armed gangs.
The reported weekend robbery in Alagbado area and its environs partly located in neighbouring Ogun State, by armed gangs, aka One million Boys, who demanded for food and money in exchange for safety, has sent shock waves across the commercial nerve of the country.
Early Monday morning another gang by name Awawa boys (We also exist), joined the One million boys and extended their devilry to Agege in Ifako-Ijaye Local Government of the state. Similar disturbances have been heard in upscale Lekki in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government of the state and middle class Ayobo area in Ayobo/Ipaja Local Council Development Area.
Fearing for their lives, residents have taken to keeping vigil and making burn fires to light up their areas in the absence of regular electricity supply.
In Abule-Egba, a suburb of the state, residents have taken to making burn fires with used tyres while keeping awake to prevent being taken unawares by the hoodlums. On Pipeline junction in Ekoro Road, threes spots on adjourning Abubakar and Anjorin streets have huge black spots made by burnt tyres.
Narrating their ordeal to Thisage, Mrs Ojobo, a petty trader in Anjoring street, said the burn fires are made by the youths in the area to keep the neighbourhood awake to the antics of the gangsters.
“After what happened in Algabodo area where three persons died including some landlords when One million boys raided the place, we have to call out everybody in the area as from 10p:m to keep vigil till 4:am everyday”
She said the burn fires “light up the place like day light and make it possible for us to see far in the distance.”
The roving team of Thisage found that shops and stalls in areas it visited now keep doors half open to attend to customers and quickly lock up at any slight commotion. The panic has deepened the anxiety surrounding the indefinite lockdown with no measurable means to cope by a majority of the people.
Coupled with that is the alleged inability of the people to get quick response form the police.
Emeka Maduagu, a journalist said on his Face Book wall, Monday: “It appears Lagos and Ogun states are moving from a Coronavirus emergency to a security emergency. President Muhammadu Buhari should roll out the military to put down this low-key insurgency before it becomes a pandemic. The police appear overwhelmed. Otherwise, allow citizens to own guns! Citizens can’t be left to attacks by bestial felons and the police can’t do anything tangible to rescue them. The publicised phone numbers of police officers were returning busy or switched off. Enough is enough!!
Similarly callers to a popular TVC programme, YOUR VIEW, anchored by Morayo Afolabi- Brown, on Monday, disputed claims by the Commissioner of Police Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos State, that many of the reports on robberies in the state were false and the Agege video on Awawa Boys and One Millions Boys was made-up.
Ade, a caller from Ogba said, “I do not believe the Commissioner. In my street in Ogba, we were out at about 11 p:m yesterday and did not sleep until about 3:am or 4:am. From a vintage position in my house, I could see some these hoodlums holding cutlasses, shovels and shouting on us they were hungry and we should come out”
Another, Kemi said she had a video made of a 7 p:m weekend attack in the abattoir area in Agege-Abule Egba road.
Afolabi asked her to send them for onward transmission to the police as evidence since, according to her, “there is too much hearsay about attacks and if police do not have evidence they would be unable to check crime.”
In his response to the questions from the TVC programme crew, Commissioner for Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, said many of the videos and stories about robberies are invented.
“I have watched the Agege video. It is an exaggeration. Three days ago there was pandemonium in Ogun end of the state. I deployed my men there and many lives were saved, arrests were made and we contained the incident with the support of my counterpart in Ogun state.
The video showing a team up between One million boys another gangster named Awawa boys is currently trending in the social media. They gangs were said to have raided Agege area in the early hours of Monday.
Continuing, Odumosu, said,“This one that we are hearing now in Alfa Ala, Agege, Ayobo where the youths of these communities also came out, we reacted immediately and area commanders went to work.
“We have made 39 arrests between yesterday and today. Some of the suspects had machete”
He disputed suggestions that the police was not responding to calls from alleged victims, particularly reports by a victim that police stations in Dopemu and Cement areas were empty when she went there to lay complaints.
He said; “No complaints from anybody, all we hear is they are coming. It is a false alarm. Even in the Lekki axis, we have responded by deploying of police men there”
He assured Lagos residents that the police have enough men and equipment to cope.
”We have mobilized our men in service. We have deployed mobile policemen who are usually not on the roads. We are working with the Army, National Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Neighbourhood Watch. So we have enough personnel,” he said and urged residents to remain calm and obey the lockdown.