19th September, 2012
As we enter the so-called ‘ember months’, armed robbery attacks have also increased and the police seem helpless to curb the activities of these marauders. Despite the many attempts by government to curb the attacks, these robbers are devising new ways to take hapless Nigerians by surprise. Apart from making Lagos an unsafe place, the Lagos-Ogun axis has become their new playground as landlords and those with the means are moving out to places where they think they are safer. But are they really safe?
Armed robbers are not spirits as we have often said. They are Nigerians living among us. They can be exposed and arrested by the police. The last few weeks have been really bad, despite assurances by the Inspector- General of Police and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umaru Manko, that they are on top of the situation. Nigerians are going through harrowing times and armed robbery is compounding issues. The failure of the police to curb these dastardly acts is a pointer to the fact that Nigeria is actually becoming a failed country.
Anyone who has ever experienced an armed robbery attack would attest to the fact that it is no tea party. Those who have been attacked would never want to experience another. The trauma of an armed robbery attack is better imagined; and if these attacks continue, we may as well be better off dead.
In the last few months, the rampaging robbers have become braver, raping wives, children and housemaids of their victims, yet very few of them have been arrested. The police seem overwhelmed, but must we all experience this trauma before serious action is taken?
It is time for more concerted action on the activities of armed robbers. The Civil Defence Corps, the Neighbourhood Watch and even Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, watch men are not enough to curb the trend.
In spite of the huge contribution of vehicles and other security equipment to the police by the Lagos State government, the police cannot adequately protect the residents. The police need to wake from their slumber now. They need to do better than they are currently doing. As long as armed robbers get away with their crimes, more people would turn to armed robbery. The army of unemployed youths are being lured into crime because they can’t help themselves.