Residents of Ajose, Alfa Nda, Akanro, Dosunmu and Lawanson streets of Mushin, Idi-Araba and some areas in Surulere, living under the terror of street gangs and robbers, have sent a Save Our Soul (SOS) plea to the Lagos State police command and the state government over the dreadful activities of the rampaging armed gangs in the area.
It’s like nothing they can describe in real life; yet it is happening before their eyes, as youths in their numbers invade streets in broad-daylight, breaking shops, smashing doors, shattering show-glasses and looting wares with aplomb. The mob destroys everything in sight, including car screens, without any form of provocation.
Most of the time, they come fully armed, with clubs, knives, machetes and even guns. Their sheer swooping number, the residents say, is always too scary for anyone to try to resist or fight them off; hence their only option has been to scamper to safety.
To make matters worse, they always seem to have all the time in the world. Residents say the police always seem to arrive much later; as if deliberately granting them latitude to have their day before moving in.
It started on January 19, 2018 at Kekereowo Street where the gang of youngsters began battering cars parked on the streets and robbing passersby in a commando-style operation. This later became a regular occurrence as the following weekend, the robbers invaded Bishop Aggey, Polar Bed and Babalola streets, vandalizing vehicles and robbing passersby.
The criminal gang later allied with some cult groups to daily inflict nightmare on residents at Onayungbo and Morgan streets. At a time, it became criminal rivalry between Lawanson gangs and Idi-Arada boys, as the hoodlums go on a robbing spree, macheting passersby and destroying vehicles.
Their activities have constantly been reported to the Itire Police Station and Zone D Divisional Police headquarters at Mushin. The Zone D Area Commander asked residents to petition the Inspector General of Police to enable the police provide additional police surveillance to complement the efforts of the state command.
According to leaders of the residents’ associations, Operation MESA is needed to restore normalcy as the gangs continue to harass residents at will. “These gangs continue to steal generators, commercial motorcycles, television sets, mobile phones and anything of value around Olufowobi street and the abandoned government building at Idi-Araba market.”
However, the DPO of Itire Police Station, Suleiman Kabir, in whose jurisdiction some of the mayhem hav occurred said it is not true that the police did not respond to the attack. He said whenever he gets information that the boys have started attacking and vandalising valuables, he personally leads the the offensive to the areas.