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Tackling the ‘Badoo’ syndrome

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Crowd at the building where a badoo suspect was kept

Sir: The Badoo group, a gang of rapist, perceived ritualists and murders, has not only attracted the attention of Lagosians but also concerned Nigerians like myself. This is because, for two years running, the activities of this group have not only continued in Ikorodu, but have also left the government, residents and the civil society without any clue of the suspects’ motivation(s) for their operations. Irrespective of the reasons for the operation of this dangerous group, its operation is inimical to social order and the development of the “Central of Excellence” state.

According to reports, the barbarous acts of this sect are threefold: their major aim is to kill, but they rape and wipe the sex organ of their female victim with white handkerchief, irrespective of their age. These have not only left residents of Ikorodu helpless, but have also made them live in fear, with several others fleeing and abandoning their property and homes for safety elsewhere. As it stands, one can say that Lagos State, specifically Ikorodu now has internally displaced people following the deadly operations of the “Badoo” group.

The murderous acts of this group were initially felt by residents of Ibeshe area of Ikorodu local government, however, their devilish activities seems to be rapidly spreading. The killing and raping of six persons including two-year old baby in Gberigbe community; the killing of family of four after raping mother and two daughters to death in Adamo community; and the killing and raping of a family of three in Imota community are few of the attacks spearheaded by this group. Also, the activity of this faceless group has spread to communities like Agbowa, Isiu and Itamaga within the first quarter of 2017.

In addition, the recent operation by this hellish group is the killing of a family of four amongst which a pregnant woman was raped in Erunwen area of Ikorodu. As if this was not enough, they reportedly took the fetus of this woman along with them. These ferocious operations are unacceptable. As a result, urgent precautions are needed to curb the activities of these cult members.

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The police have continued to hunt for the members of this cult. However, it seems police and other security agents are far from achieving the needed result of putting a stop to the menace. Specifically, the police are yet to arrest and prosecute any member of this gang even at the face of increasing cases of the “Badoo” attacks. Hence, how this traditionally slaughterous group overwhelm the intelligence and technical know-how of the police remain a big question that is yet to be given answers to.

To curb this social problem, there is a need for the state government, traditional rulers, landlords and residents to embrace community-oriented policing. Specifically, there is a need for a security initiative that focuses on police building ties and working closely with members of the communities. To corroborate the aforementioned, traditional security personnel’s such as the Oduduwa People’s Congress (OPC) and the Ikorodu security initiative referred to as “Onyabo”, a Yoruba traditional security group that restored peace and sanity in Ikorodu during intense cultist clashes, are to be deployed to communities across the Ikorodu local government.

Also, residents are to be vigilant on raising alarm on anyone who is perceived to have embarked on clandestine surveillance during the day to identify the target houses. Lastly, residents are advised to apply basic security precautions such as locking their doors properly, affixing burglaries to their windows and other strategic places in their households and to affix a household siren/alarm which informs security personnel and residents who can in one way or the other come to their rescue.

Adewusi Adedeji is a sociologist.

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