The Chairman of the Lagos State Neighborhood and Safety Corps Agency (LNSC),a former Commissioner of Police, Lagos State and retired DIG of Police, Mr. Israel Ajao, has warned Ikorodu residents to desist from resorting to jungle justice and lynching of suspected Badoo cultists.
While speaking during a town hall meeting on security situation in Ikorodu at the Ikorodu Local Government secretariat on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, the retired Commissioner of Police said, “We understand the reactions of the residents since the Badoo attacks became incessant but the situation is taking an unfortunate dimension as innocent people were being lynched and burnt alive. I want to appeal to you to stop the mob action. The victims of mob actions could be the family members of anyone of us.”
Continuing, he also stated, “Let us put an end to mob action. Jungle justice is not the solution to security challenges in Ikorodu division. Let us allow justice to take its course.” Mr. Ajao said as the Chairman of Lagos State Neighborhood safety Agency (LNSC) and as the former Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, he would like to assure everyone in Ikorodu division that the State Government and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police were more than ready to fight crime to a standstill.
According to him, burning of suspects was not the way out of the present situation since there was need to allow for interrogation of suspects to get useful information, which would assist the police and other security Agencies in unravelling the root cause of Badoo and other crimes. He said that Ambode was concerned about the security situation in Ikorodu and wanted a lasting solution to the menace. In his view, this was the reason they were invited to see how they could deal with the situation.
DIG Ajao observed that Ikorodu used to be peaceful, accommodating and prosperous; he wondered what had gone wrong in the scheme of things. Speaking further, he said, “There is no way the residents could enjoy developmental proceeds coming to Ikorodu if there is no safety of lives and properties.” He queried thus, “Why are few elements that are agents of Satan disturbing the peace of the town? It is time to go after them but we cannot do it alone without the assistance of the people and that is why we called for a town hall meeting to brain-storm on what should be done.”
The retired Commissioner also admitted that they were in Ikorodu to present LNSC to the residents. He said when the officers were being recruited, Governor Ambode gave the directive that they should be placed in their localities because they would understand their areas better. He appealed to the people to co-operate with them to avoid molestation of personnel and mistaking them for Badoo cultists so that they can carry out their jobs effectively. Ajao also said that residents should volunteer useful information to the security agencies for effective tackling of the security situation while also calling for cooperation among the security outfits.
The former DIG also hinted on the readiness of LNSC under his command to register all security and vigilante groups in Lagos State, stating that, “As much as we want to commend men of the vigilantes, it is pertinent to warn them that they should not exceed their power. Very soon, we shall be registering all vigilante groups in Lagos State as stipulated in the law that created LNSC. We are not going to ask them for money but to have a data bank in order to know those who are assisting in the protection of our communities- Onyabo, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, OPC and others.”
At the high powered security meeting, residents and representatives of various associations called for the employment of more personnel into LNSC with adequate arms. They were also in support of improved welfare and provision of equipment for the police, continuous enlightenment on security and coordinated vigilante activities, among others.
While speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers in Ikorodu division, HRM, Oba Ajibade Agoro, Ranodu of Imota, debunked the accusations made by Governor Ambode and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, on July 6, 2017 that some royal fathers and Baales have their hands in the Badoo resurgence while also harbouring criminals in their respective domains. He said there was no iota of truth in the allegation, adding that no traditional ruler would allow criminals into their domains to destabilize it. In his words, “People don’t know that it is a taboo for any traditional ruler to conspire against his community.”
He, however, tasked the Lagos State Government to deploy security apparatus to determine whether the Badoo killings were connected to any rituals and expose the perpetrators. According to him, “Badoo activities are ritualistic in nature. It is like the ‘One Chance’ menace that threatened the state some couple of months ago before the Police checkmated it. The culprits are those looking for blood money. I want to enjoin the government and the Police to standup to their responsibilities by deploying their intelligence power in tackling the menace.”
Making further statements, he said, “We are victims of development in Ikorodu; there is a limit to what an Oba can do, unlike in the ancient times. We are imploring the Police to use its intelligence machineries to get to the root of the matter.”
According to Oba Agoro, Badoo incident is a new phenomenon in the division and, “These people are not ghosts. We must not allow them to take over our community. Unfortunately, the Vigilante groups, which are supposed to protect us, are divided, fighting over unnecessary things; thereby, displaying their inability to protect us,” he stated.
Oba Agoro enjoined residents to sustain their Vigilante activities but should stop burning tyres because of its negative effects on their health, roads and the environment.