Unless the Lagos State government and the police command act precisely and urgently, Mile 12 and Ketu areas would soon become Nigeria’s crime capital.
Within a space of four days, August 1 and 4, at least seven people were killed in Mile 12 area alone. The orgy of killings started on Sunday, August 1, when assistant pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ibrahim, was gunned down during child dedication on the pulpit around 12 noon.The gunmen came with his photograph to ensure he was indeed their target.
The next day, August 2, five people were killed around Mile 12 Underbridge and Ajelogo areas. As if that was not enough, on Wednesday, August 4, a young man of about 28 years old, Ridwan, was murdered at Mile 12 Underbridge around 3pm.
Most of the killings are cult-related.Areas that are under the siege of cultists are Owode Elede, Adekunle, Ajelogo.Fadare, Obanta, Agiliti (Mile 12 axis) and Demuren area in Ketu.
This orgy of violence and killings started in December last year. Cultists are fighting supremacy battles between Eiye and Aiye groups.
Last December, a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Rebecca, was coming from shopping with her grandchild. Her son was driving when they ran into a crime scene being perpetrated by cultists in broad daylight.
She said, “My brother, I will never forget that day, when we ran into the crime scene at Ajelogo, on December 22. I saw a human head on the floor. The cultists/robbers were going to every motorists collecting phones in stalled traffic. They were using Ghana-must-go bags to collect the phones. It was the scariest moment of my life.
Since that December, no week passes without people, mostly traders, motorists and commuters running for their lives.
One thing is clear, these cultists are armed robbers. Their modus operandi involves robbing traders and shop owners after a supremacy clash.
A trader, Mr. Paulinus, who sells food items at Mile 12, said, “I wasn’t in the shop when the hoodlums came.My brother, who was my assistant, was attacked. He had his left hand almost severed with a machete. This was after he had surrendered the day’s sales to them. I have asked him to stay away after his discharge from hospital. I spent almost half a million naira in hospital bills to save his life.
April 16, 2021, was a black Friday in Mile 12. Again, the cultists took over the overhead bridge at about 5pm. Workers returning home heading for Ikorodu abandoned their vehicles. The cultists/robbers had a field day stealing valuables from abandoned vehicles. Where there was nothing to steal, the vehicles were vandalised. A victim, Mr. Bolajoko, amid sobs, said, “I went to the bank that morning to withdraw N250,000 meant for my house roofing; it was gone.So painful was my laptop containing virtually my life. Where do I start?” he lamented
Residents are appealing to the state government to come to their aid as they are living at the mercy of the hoodlums who they said occasionally are caught when police raid the black spots. But within a few days boys are back, beating their chests that they will always come back.
Economic Effect: Many traders are recording low sales because people are afraid to come to Mile 12 to buy.Many shops are being abandoned for safety. Residents don’t sleep well because of sporadic gunshots. It is about time the state government and the police got their act together and did the needful, before people resort to self-help.