The Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit has begun fresh onslaught against suspected hoodlums across the state as it arrests 69 of them in an early morning raid.
Officials of the taskforce stormed Oshodi and Iyana Ipaja areas of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria at the weekend fully armed and with a Black Maria to arrest the street urchins, popularly known as Area Boys for constituting nuisance to the public.
In Oshodi, the taskforce struck around 4:30 am on Friday and arrested 34 suspects hoodlums, including four under-aged children while it arrested another 35 in Iyana Ipaja area of the state the same day.
The suspects were conveyed in a Black Maria to the taskforce office where they were detained while awaiting arraignment in court.
Taskforce Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman confirmed the arrest, saying that the wrath of the law would fall on those convicted by the Special Court.
Sulaiman added that the under-aged children would be taken to the Lagos State Remand Home for correction and later re-united with their families.
The taskforce chairman disclosed that between January and now, the taskforce had arrested over 700 suspects across various parts of the Lagos metropolis in areas such as Fadeyi, Oshodi, Abule Egba, Yaba, Ikorodu, Lagos Island, among others.
He said government was determined to rid Lagos of area boys as their activities had become intolerable, saying that they stole people’s money and other valuables at will and that government would not allow such to continue.
Sulaiman stated that the raid on street urchins was a continuous one and warned others across the state to be on the run as government would come after them if they did not desist from their nefarious activities.
On children being among the area boys, he appealed to parents to be more mindful of the places their children go to, saying that “I can’t imagine a child leaving home and out of the control of their parents to stay under the bridge.”
He said those arrested would be charged to court and punished accordingly to the dictate of the to serve as deterrent to others.
By Kazeem Ugbodaga