Help! Armed robbers are taking over Ikorodu
Sir: I use this medium to inform the government of Lagos State and the Nigeria Police of the daily robbery operations against people in Ikorodu area. The armed robbers have now formed the habit of unleashing terror on innocent residents and commuters. Although many parts of Ikorodu are not spared of these terrible operations, the criminal activities are more prominent between the popular and densely populated Agric bus top and Ogolonto bus top. Many unwary passersby and many others who are usually caught by surprise of these dastardly acts have suffered immensely, losing money, cell phones, ATM cards, wrist watches and other valuables, which are invariably the targets of these hoodlums.
Their more recent of these operations was carried out along Agric-Ogolonto axis on Monday December 7, 2020 evening around 8.30 p.m. The operation lasted almost two hours, and the robbers, in large numbers, were not even deterred by the rain which fell during that period, during which the robbers took shelter somewhere, only to resume robbing after the rain. Welding guns, cutlasses, machetes and other dangerous weapons, the robbers started by releasing a gunshot and causing panic around Agric Bus stop, thereby sending people into panic and running everywhere.
In the confusion, the robbers stopped moving vehicles on the highway, and forcibly removed personal belongings from the bewildered commuters. Many victims were inflicted with machete cuts if they did not quickly surrender their phones and purses to the robbers. Some motorists acted smart and fast enough to quickly abandon their cars and run for safety. But many were pursued and injured by the marauders who were very ruthless and mean.
For many shops selling things around the vicinity, life stood still for the owners and their customers who were forced into “imprisonment” in the shops even as everyone prayed that the hoodlums did not notice them or turn their attacks on them. Some of the victims were attacked in the buses, including a BRT bus in which they were commuting. A young lady, trying to run away tripped and fell. She was not spared as the robbers went after her, seizing and instantly emptying her purse. She sustained injuries in the course of falling.
A young man displayed machete cuts he received because he was trying to save his phone from the attackers. Another young lady abandoned her phone and other items in a commuter bus that was attacked by the boys who took away everything. It was indeed a sorry sight.
The question on the lips of everybody around was where was the police for the almost two hours that the well-co-ordinated robbery was carried out. Some of the robbers even had the temerity to cruise around the crime zone on motorcycles. As the operation wore on, and as if to warn people who might be contemplating repelling the attack, the robbers released a heavy gunshot, which cannot be mistaken for a Christmas banga!
We call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to the aid of people in Ikorodu, especially those around Agric and Ogolonto, and save them from the terror regularly unleashed on them by these armed robbers. We wish to urge the governor to carry out the sacred duty of government in protecting the lives and properties of citizens. These incidents are growing in impunity because the police, after EndSARS, have shied away from their work. But government needs to prevail on them, as there is no reason why the people should be left at the mercy of criminals. After all, the EndSARS protesters were fighting for an improvement in the society from which the police will also benefit through enhanced salaries, conditions of work and better prestige.
Tanimola Shoyemi, Ikorodu.