It’s Time To Rein In The Somolu Terror Gang

Editorial

For the past two weeks now, residents of Somolu have been held to ransom by hoodlums who have unleashed terror on them. The hoodlums who are not more than 10, reports say, have been attacking residents and destroying properties in the community at will.

The gang which branded itself the ‘EFCC Boys’ are notorious for wanton destruction of properties and attack on innocent members of the community in the guise of fighting yahoo yahoo boys. Members of this gang are identifiable and the police know them.

Through their activities, they have succeeded in creating fear among residents who on sighting them usually run helter-skelter to avoid trouble. They have become so lawless that the police in the area have become powerless to rein them in. In some instances, members of the gang have been known to attack policemen sent to arrest them over attack on residents.

Whenever they have an issue to settle with residents or sent by their godfathers to ‘deal’ with their perceived opponents or those who offended them, the gang moves in, carrying dangerous weapons like knives, guns, axes, cudgels and bottles which they use to attack their victims. They always leave destruction after every attack.

A few instance of their recent attacks on residents will suffice: On 8 June, around 11p.m., members of the gang led by their leader identified as Small J Pron, stormed Craig Street and attacked homes, vehicles and looted properties.

One of their victims, Olatunde Oladipo, a printer, had a nasty experience when they visited his home. Not finding him at home, the hoodlums vandalised his properties, humiliated his wife and children and threatened to kill them. The attack was immediately reported to the police at Alade Station. But the police, in their usual manner, failed to bring the hoodlums to book.

The following day, three of the hoodlums came on a motorcycle to another house on Craig Street and attacked a resident, Omoh Junior. They collected his phones and laptop after beating him.

Not done yet, members of the gang on 13 June raided the home of a housewife, Mrs Bunmi Afolabi on Salami Street, Somolu, and brutalised her. By the time they left her, blood was dripping down her face.

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She reported the attack at the Alade Police Station, Somolu, and six policemen were asked to follow her home to arrest the culprits. But on their way, at Ajose Street, some of the hoodlums attacked the policemen with stones to the extent that the cops dropped their handcuffs and fled, leaving the woman at the mercy of the thugs. They pounced on her, with her baby on her back and beat her mercilessly before she was saved by some residents who pleaded with the gang not to kill her.

It took the combined effort of policemen from Alade, Pedro, Area ‘H’ and the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) to disperse the boys who went on a binge, destroying vehicles and buildings of residents.

Though four members of the gang were arrested by the police for causing violence, they were soon set free following a phone call by some politicians in the area.

From our investigations, this Small J. Pron gang was responsible for the recent clashes in Fadeyi and Jibowu areas during which many innocent residents were either killed and some wounded.

Several petitions have been sent to the police on the activities of this gang but the police in Somolu have not been able to deal decisively with them due to interference by the local politicians.

This is why we are calling on the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Yakubu Alkali, to intevene immediately and bring these hoodlums to book. They cannot be above the law. The commissioner should order investigation into the various attacks by the gang and rein them in.