A victim of the nefarious activities of hoodlums under the new Agege bridge has narrated to Lagos Monitoring Team how he was robbed of money and other valuable items.
The victim (name withheld) said on the fateful day of the incident, the hoodlums practically had a field day and operated without any fear of intervention by security agencies.
According to the victim, “On that very day, I was returning from work in Alausa and going towards Abule Egba when I got to Agege around 10:30pm.
“I have been hearing that hoodlums are now operating freely on the rail track under the Agege bridge but I had thought that the Lagos Rapid Response Squad (RRS) would always patrol the black spots across the state.
“Alas, I was dead wrong as the boys numbering about eight suddenly rounded me up and asked that I give up all on me. They were with knife and other dangerous weapons.
“They collected all the money I was having on me. About N6,000 and some of the things I used in my office. They, however, did not collect my phone,” the victim narrated.
The victim said as someone who knows a bit of the workings of the state government, he reached out to some people who know about the modus operandi of RRS to find out how it got to the level that hoodlums would be operating freely in Agege, however the response was shocking.
“I was told and I have every reason to believe that RRS has derailed from the working template of the former Commander, DCP Tunji Disu, who is now the Head of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
“During the time of the former Commander, RRS vehicles were always positioned at strategic locations, while they operated on hotspots template whereby areas such as the rail track under the Agege bridge would always have police presence, thereby scaring away criminal elements.
“Now, it is about eye service and needless show of force, and neglecting the core work of safety of lives and property. Now, RRS officers have abandoned the real policing work; they prefer to go after traffic offenders.
“If you’re conversant with Alausa, you would see crowd of people at the parking lot behind Governor’s office everyday. Those are motorists arrested by RRS and Task Force, most of them have to part with as high as N100,000 and N150,000 to have their vehicles released to them,” he said.
Another security expert said it now behoves Mr Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and CP Hakeem Odumosu to rein in the RRS and call the officers to order.
“I mean it is unfortunate that RRS has derailed. Before now, when motorists ran out of fuel, RRS officers on patrol would help them with few litres to get to gas station or home. Now, when your car break down, instead of helping, these officers would look for a way to extort you. That is bad!
“The human face to policing under Disu endeared RRS to the people. I recalled when they helped a woman in labour to the hospital and even attended the naming ceremony. The RRS was celebrated globally for that act. Why are we no longer hearing all these about RRS?
“Something is fundamentally wrong and I think the new Commander, CSP Yinka Egbeyemi should go back to the working template,” the source said.