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Government Pledges Crackdown as Miscreants Strike Fear in Lagos Neighborhoods

In recent days, a growing number of Lagos residents have voiced their apprehension regarding the surge in criminal activities orchestrated by miscreants across various parts of the city. PUNCH Metro’s latest report highlights the distressing predicament faced by individuals commuting through key routes such as Ikeja Under Bridge, Berger, Agege Pen Cinema, and others, where hoodlums have been preying on unsuspecting victims, robbing them of their cash, smartphones, and personal belongings.One resident, Bright Ogundare, recounted a harrowing experience to PUNCH Metro, detailing how he fell victim to the nefarious actions of thugs while on his way to Iyana Ipaja. “I was traveling from Ogba to Ipaja, using a Keke from Agege Pen Cinema,” he explained. “As I was about to cross the bridge to catch a bus to Iyana Ipaja, I was accosted by four individuals. One of them brandished a knife, and after demanding money, they forcibly guided me into a nearby store. Threats of injury compelled me to surrender all my possessions, including the N7,000 I had on me, before they finally permitted me to leave.”Tola, another resident, identified the Oko Oba/Abattoir area as a notorious hotspot for criminal activity, especially under the cover of darkness. “The overhead bridge at Oko Oba/Abattoir is particularly hazardous at night,” Tola stated. “Once night falls, the local delinquents spring into action. Remaining in the vicinity is risky; those familiar with the area comprehend the peril. It’s a grim situation, especially in Agege.”During a firsthand observation conducted by our correspondent around 7pm on a Sunday in Berger, an unsettling scene unfolded. Numerous menacing-looking youths occupied the pedestrian bridge, some even resorting to physically harassing women. Others strategically positioned themselves along the bridge, prompting pedestrians to quicken their pace in an effort to evade becoming targets.Ayeni, a pedestrian, lamented the shift in nightlife patterns due to mounting fears of insecurity. “Just last weekend in Ogba, around 8pm, I was heading to a club near Caterpillar area with two friends. Surprisingly, numerous shops were already shuttered. These hours are typically bustling in Lagos, but the dynamics have shifted. People are prioritizing their safety over leisure,” Ayeni remarked.When contacted for comment, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Gboyega Akosile, assured that substantial efforts are being made to curtail the activities of miscreants. Akosile emphasized that the Lagos State Task Force, under the leadership of Shola Jejeloye, along with other pertinent agencies, is actively engaged in eliminating the presence of such individuals. “Lagos, as a metropolis, draws an influx of individuals daily,” Akosile remarked. “We remain committed to maintaining a pristine environment. The eradication of these unauthorized individuals from bridges and pedestrian walkways is a priority.”Likewise, Raheem Gbadeyanka, spokesperson for the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Agency (Task Force), disclosed recent operations in multiple areas to dislodge miscreants. Gbadeyanka affirmed, “In the past few days, we have targeted Isokoko, Agege, Oshodi, and Abattoir. Many of these criminals have been ousted, and rail tracks have been cleared. Similar efforts were extended to Marwa, Eti Osa. Although these miscreants may consider themselves clever, our resolve remains steadfast.”Amidst the ongoing initiatives to combat hoodlum activities, prominent figures have weighed in on the matter. Juwon Sanyaolu, the National Coordinator of the Take It Back Movement, commended the government’s actions while highlighting the economic dimension of insecurity. Sanyaolu urged authorities to address the underlying issue of poverty as well. Adaramoye Michael, National Coordinator of the Youth Rights Campaign, echoed these sentiments, cautioning that, historically, law-abiding citizens, especially youths, have borne the brunt of law enforcement’s efforts to apprehend criminals.


Ademola Adeyemi

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