Ojo, Badagry communities still losing sleep over ‘One Million Boys’
DESPITE repeated assurances given by the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, that the ‘One Million Boys’ armed robbery gang terrorising some parts of the state had been subdued, it is still a reign of panic at Ojo and Badagry local councils, as residents are losing sleep over their safety, particularly after the dreaded and ruthless gang purportedly wrote to the communities of renewed activities in the area.
Owoseni had recently told newsmen that different police teams, including operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had been deployed to Badagry.
However, for residents of the affected areas, they are taking the police boss’ assurances with a pinch of salt.
Some of the areas recently attacked included Ojo, Iba, Shibiri, Agbara, Afromedia, Okokomaiko, Ilogbo, Oko Afon, and Ijanikin. At the weekend, some community leaders were seen holding emergency security meetings on how to be ready for the purported invasion of the gang by engaging local vigilance groups and other native measures.
A community leader in Ijanikin, Alhaji Bayo Ajasa, said they were taking the threat letter seriously.
“They have informed residents of their coming and asked us to keep money for them or be prepared to die.
“Everybody knows the situation in the country, that times are hard, and we are not prepared to die. This is why we are doing all we can to keep our communities safe and not rely on the police. We are not going to discuss our plans on the pages of newspaper but we are not sitting back.”
In an interview with The Guardian, the Onijanikin of Ijanikin Kingdom, Oba Momodu Afolabi Ashafa, dismissed the fears of residents, saying his community was free from the grip of the gang.
“All you have heard is a rumour. Immediately I heard the news, I called the Area Commander, who confirmed to me that nothing of such existed in Ijanikin. I can’t speak for other areas but in my kingdom, the community is peaceful.
“I have been on this stool for 42 years and have for some years been the Lagos Chairman of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC). We have ensured this area is safe. I am pleading with the state government to build a general hospital for us. Badagry and Igando are too far from here,” he said.