Time To Stop These Criminal Gangs

For the past few months residents of Idi-Oro, Akala, Moshalasi, Fadeyi, Somolu,  Bariga, Mushin and Abule Ijesa among many others in Lagos State have watched  helplessly as their children, wives and fathers are killed in cult wars that have in  recent times engulfed the areas.

A few weeks ago, some young men suspected to be members of a cult group unleashed  terror on residents of Elekoro area of Mushin. They numbered about 15, wore black  T-shirts and were armed with dangerous weapons. A few days later some criminal  elements stormed Akala and Alakara area of Mushin and clashed with another group,  leaving one person dead and several others wounded. Alakara and Akala are just a  shouting distance from a Alakara Police Division.

On Tuesday 7 December, youths and drug peddlers clashed around the railway line in  Fadeyi which resulted in the death of nine-year-old Aminat Oladepo, a primary three  pupil of Ola Emma Nursery and Primary School, Mushin.

She was sent on an errand by her parents and on sighting the hoodlums, she hid  behind a parked car but when the criminals sighted her, she was shot and killed for  no apparent reason.

A day after Amina was killed, two other people were killed in what was described as  a reprisal attack. Weekly, people lose their lives in this area and the police seem  too lethargic to arrest the situation.

The cult wars are between different rival groups that include the National Union of  Road Transport Workers, the OPC, Eiye Cult, Black Axe Confraternity, Akala Boys and  others too numerous to mention, through leaders of some of the groups have denied  the allegation.

Recently, some residents of Akala visited P.M.NEWS and denied that Akala area was  still notorious. They said the residents had formed an alliance to keep the cultists  out of their area and that they had started mobilizing to protect themselves from  the criminal gangs.

We think it was time government waded into this warfare and once and for all stop  the activities of these murderous gangs.

It is not as if the police is unaware of the problem but policemen are usually  powerless as the wars are quick affairs after which the gangs disappear. A police  source also blamed politicians for the upsurge in the cult wars in recent times. He  added that whenever the boys are arrested, highly placed government officials call  for their release, which makes it impossible to prosecute them to serve as a  deterrent to others of their ilk.

Government has waited enough, it must move now; we cannot allow Lagos State, the  commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, to become another Abia State where criminal  gangs of kidnappers reigned. We cannot afford to wait until an important personality  dies in the crossfire before we douse the flames of the gang wars.

The self-imposed curfew by people of these areas is uncalled for. Losing lives  everyday should not be allowed in a civilized society. The police must step up their  act and start arresting these hoodlums. We are not at war and must not allow  anybody, no matter how highly placed to disrupt commercial and social activities  endangering lives and subjecting people to a state of constant fear.

Enough is enough. Tax payers must not become victims of security threats. The gangs  must be apprehended and prosecuted. We have lost too many innocent souls to these  criminals and now is the time to stop them.

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