15th February, 2012
Armed robbers have since January laid siege to Epe, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, dispossessing residents of their money and other valuables.
The residents who now live in fear have sent a Save Our Soul message to Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, to beef up security in the area.
According to the residents, at least six violent robbery attacks occurred in January.
They said that the hoodlums usually attack their victims at night while houses are burgled in daytime, especially in developing areas such as Agric, Papa extension, Iraye and Temu areas, all in Epe Central.
Last week, three cases of robbery and two burglary incidents were reported. The victims of the attacks included a journalist working in The Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Tunde Alao and his neighbour, Mr. Adewale Obafemi, a staff of Nigerian Space Centre
Also at Kasali Oluwo Street, a gang robbed a family of money and other valuables. The robbers also took a vehicle that was brought home by a mechanic. The vehicle was later recovered along Ijebu Ode Road by a local vigilance group, “Ibile Security Outfit”.
Chairman of Epe Local Government, Mr. Segun Agbaje, told P.M.NEWS that a security committee is planning a strategy to combat crime in the area.
With the chairman’s intervention, residents said officials of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, now patrol the area .
The RRS men are stationed at the Maroko/Epe Junction in “Agric” and have intensified efforts to provide security for the residents
A community leader in “Agric” area, Alhaji Shuaib Amoda commended the squad for what he described as “unrelenting efforts to ensure that Epe is safe from the activities of hoodlums”.
While the community leaders expressed appreciation for government efforts, they called on government to look into the activities of some prominent leaders in the community who usually come to the aid of suspects.
“It is one thing for the police to make arrest, it is another thing for men of influence to truncate efforts of security agents. We also appeal to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos to replace some of his officers who have spent more than 10 years in Epe Police Station,” said the community leaders who alleged “unholy alliance between criminals and some of them.