16th March, 2011
There appears to be a fresh upsurge in the spate of robbery attacks across Lagos State, the latest being the attack on the press crew of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Monday night. The bus conveying the media team attached to the governorâ€™s office at Alausa was attacked on 3rd Mainland Bridge when the driver of the bus stopped to assist a governorâ€™s aide whose car broke down on the bridge at about 10 p.m.
As they were at the spot where the vehicle broke down, men on three motorcycles arrived and robbed them at gun point. Curiously, the robbery incident happened around the area where the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, always maintain surveillance on the 11-kilometre bridge. The policemen not on sight that night so the victims were left to their fate.
A few weeks ago,Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele and the crew of Omo Gheto were robbed at their hotel rooms in Ebutte Metta.
Days ago, robbers struck at a residential area at Alausa. They robbed a woman and fans watching an international match. During the operation, one of the robbers was shot dead by a policeman who heard the robbersâ€™ gunshots, while other members of the gang escaped.
In spite of the upsurge in robbery attacks, the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Yakubu Alkali, has consistently denied it. Perhaps the robbers have capitalised on the transition from the Marvel Akpoyibo period to Alkaliâ€™s to unleash mayhem as Alkali appears not to have settled down in his new posting.
It does not matter if Alkali comes to terms with this fact or not.
What is important is that he should hit the ground running because the Lagos State government and the organised private sector have invested billions of naira in security that it would be unacceptable if robbers are allowed to run wild in the state.
Alkali is expected to build on the success of his predecessor and even surpass it, rather than allow the relative peace and security the state has enjoyed in recent times to slip through his fingers.
The new police boss, we believe, must have prepared himself adequately to police a complex state like Lagos. If so, we expect him to rise to the menace posed by robbers rather than wish it away.
The task before Alkali and his men becomes more daunting as we approach the general elections. We expect them to deliver the goods no matter the challenge.