•CP Idowu Owohunwa
Residents are currently lamenting over what looks like a surge in armed robbery cases on Lagos streets and roads.
Amid the recent frequent raids on some streets such as Lawani Street, off Ishaga Road, Surulere, where armed robbers stole cash and properties on the night of July 18, other residents said robbery cases were now extending to roads, including during daytime, reports The PUNCH.
“They robbed the (Surulere) area that week and the week after it,” a resident, Biodun, told one of our correspondents yesterday.
A resident in the Abule Egba area, who gave his name simply as Juwon for fear of reprisal, also narrated how some hoodlums wielding knives robbed him of his phone and subsequently emptied his account the same day.
“I was returning from the Afrikan Shrine where I went to attend Seun Kuti’s show last week. But in the morning when we were returning, I alighted from a tricycle when some boys in the area accosted me. They took my Tecno phone. They both had knives. It was around 7am. Before I got to the bank that day, I discovered that N27,000 that was in my account had gone,” Juwon our correspondent yesterday.
In the Akowonjo-Egbeda area of the Alimosho Local government Area, residents said robbers invaded houses in the early hours of July 13 and made away with cash and properties.
A woman who identified herself simply as Mama Sarumi, a trader along Benesther Junction said the hoodlums arrived around 2am and shot indiscriminately.
She said, “They came with one LT Volkswagen bus that had no number plate and when they came down, they started to shoot in the air. I lost my phone to them. They also robbed some of the people like me who sell here in the middle of the night and they collected phones and money from them. They were not even afraid of the police. They were not in a hurry. They just divided themselves into groups and were ‘obtaining’ people.
“Many people ran into Oke, Ajani Akingbogun and Alhaji Idowu Streets. I don’t think the police can match them because they were not afraid at all.”
This paper had also reported that in June, a man, who gave his name simply as Omotayo, narrated how hoodlums attacked him in the Mile 12 area around 3pm and robbed him of his money and phone.
The victim said he was going to a market in the Mile 12 area to buy a gadget when some persons suspected to be thugs in the area summoned him.
He said, “That day, I was going to buy a reading lamp. I stopped at the Mile 12 market. Some boys said I should come but I ignored their summon and told them not to call me again.
“After some time, one of them entered the shop with a broken bottle and ordered me to come out of the place. He said he would destroy the things in the shop if I didn’t come outside.
“The owner of the shop told me to leave when the guy kept threatening and shouting that he would destroy things.”
He said after his altercation with them, he was stabbed multiple times, adding “They took my phone and other things and left me. I managed to see someone who helped me to call my mother whose number I could recall.”
He was later hospitalised at Helaal Specialist Hospital in the area.
A Twitter user, @Sassy_Ij, who also lamented, said he feared robbery would get worse with the current economy.
“Robberies are skyrocketing on the mainland in Lagos and I fear it’s only going to get worse with the state of the economy. Even house robberies,” the tweep stated.
On July 19, @iam_Godwin2, warned Lagosians to be careful, saying public bus operators are now allegedly conniving with robbers.
“Good morning Lagos people, please be careful out there, public buses are now in the game of robbery with street boys. Be very careful at night in Lagos please,” the tweep said.
On his part, @Toria_Ahkeens said highway robberies were back in Lagos. The tweep said, “Seems highway robberies are back in full force in Lagos. You all that move at night should be extra careful please.”
“There is nothing anybody can tell me. I am buying pepper spray and a pocket knife because of the robberies on Lagos roads. On God,” @lollypeezle also tweeted.
Contacted on the trend of robberies, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, said it was important for residents to report robbery incidents at the police station to help the force to better strategise.
Hundeyin said, “Our statistics do not reflect an increase in robberies to even talk of daytime. But if it’s true that there are robberies, that means people just decided to keep them to themselves. These kinds of cases underscore the importance of reporting.
“Even if you feel like you won’t get your stolen things back, at least, report so that at the end of the month, we can get statistics to know which particular areas these are happening and at what particular time. We encourage people to report incidents to help us improve on our anti-crime strategy