Lagos, a state in South Western Nigeria boasts of a population of over 20 million people. It is reputed to be Nigeria’s fastest growing city and the commercial nerve of the country. The state is not with violence and terrible clashes in some parts of the city. In a recent PUNCH report, the Police Command in the state has identified and warned people about hotbeds of violence just as its 33,000 cops grapple with the daunting task of policing the megacity. Below is a list of some of them.
1. Anibaba and Itu Nla (Ikorodu)
In terms of notoriety in the most accomplished American gangster fashion, residents say that Ikorodu would be considered as the most infamous area in Lagos State.
Ikorodu, an area located in the north-east of Lagos, close to the Lagoon and shares boundary with Ogun State, has become a vulnerable spot for rapists and kidnappers to thrive. But two areas stand out in Ikorodu: Anibaba and Itu Nla.
These two areas in Ikorodu are notorious for fatal cult clashes. Gunmen suspected to be cultists, in what residents describe as supremacy battles, invade the communities at will and shoot dead their rivals, sometimes innocent residents are caught in the crossfire.
Recently, according to reports, not less than five people were killed following a clash between rival cult groups in Anibaba.
2. Ojelade and Oju Irin (Mushin)
Mushin’s notoriety dates back to the 1980s and the area has not changed for the better as it is considered one of the top ten spots of violence in Lagos.
At the heart of most of the violence in the area are cult clashes, especially at Ojelade and Oju Irin areas of Mushin.
It was gathered that hoodlums usually unleash mayhem on the areas whenever they feel like. During attacks, the hoodlums wield cudgels, cutlasses and broken bottles. Their targets often times members of rival cult gangs.
3. Igbo Olomu and Isawo (Ikorodu)
Militants dislodged from creeks and the Niger Delta are said to have found solace in Igbo Olomu and Isawo in Ikorodu. Kidnapping, according to investigation is their stock-in-trade.
With little or no security agencies’ presence, the militants usually have a field day whenever they creep into the communities to abduct people.
According to residents of the areas, after their operations, victims are spirited away to a creek around Imota.
Following that, family members of the abducted are contacted most times through the telephone to pay a huge sum of money as ransom. The grim alternative often presented by the criminals is that their victims will be killed if their request is not met.
4. Ilaje (Bariga)
As waves of violent crimes continually hit Bariga, it may not be easy to forget the fine memories that the area used to represent.
Bariga, an area in Somolu Local Government Area of Lagos State, is known to host the oldest secondary school – CMS Grammar School – in Nigeria. The school was founded in June 1859 by the Church Missionary Society.
Far from being an education bastion of the nation, Bariga had become a blighted area.
A part of Bariga, Ilaje, has taken the area to another level probably not envisaged by European missionaries who sited Nigeria’s first secondary school there.
Rape, kidnapping and violent cult clashes are the order of the day in the area. Hoodlums often lurk around the area in the night to waylay unsuspecting women. Sadly, these women are usually attacked and raped.
5. Olodi-Apapa and Ajegunle (Apapa)
Apapa in Lagos is synonymous with ports and terminals. An area in the place – Ajegunle — is famous for producing superstars in the entertainment industry. Ajegunle is also reputed as Nigeria’s ‘ghetto paradise’ where criminals excel alongside good people.
In recent times, supremacy battles between different cult groups have become almost a regular occurrence in the area. More disturbing are the rising cases of reported cases of missing children.
6. Odunfa and Onala (Lagos Island)
As violent crimes considered to be a feature of Lagos’ overpopulated mainland increase, criminals have extended their tenterhooks to Lagos Island, the so-called area of the affluent.
Odunfa and Onala stick out as sore thumbs in terms of criminal activities on the Island as street fights and gangsterism have continued to hold sway in the last three weeks.
7. Shibiri (Okokomaiko)
Shibiri, a densely populated area in Okokomaiko, Lagos is said to be a den and recruiting camp for criminals.
Residents say it is an area where the philosophy of “catch em young” is desperately being applied, with claims that they had witnessed many times, teenagers robbing people.
8. Papa and Orile Agege
The twin areas of Papa and Orile in Agege are not lagging behind among Lagos’ expanding territories of crime and violence.
Residents told our correspondents that they live in fear as they watch teenagers who are usually high on drugs commit crimes without any scruple.
10. AIT Road Alagbado, Afolabi, Obadore (Igando)
According to reports, AIT Road in Alagbado, Afolabi and Obadore in Igando have become battlegrounds for cult groups to engage in violent fights. The problem, according to Lagos Police Chief Owoseni, (in a PUNCH report) may not be unconnected with some elders in these areas.
While Lagos residents grapple with the menacing reality of rising criminal activities in their communities, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the problem might not be unconnected with some elders in these areas.
Sources: Nigerian Bulletin, PUNCH