On the twenty third of December this year, a woman was shot and killed right in front of her shop. This unfortunate incident happened at an Iyana-Ipaja, a suburb of Lagos. It is one in a series of crimes that have been perpetrated in the area this December, all of which remain unsolved. But while nobody knows who the the criminals are, their motive is all very clear- to steal from others by all means in order to have a good Christmas at the expense of their victims!
The criminal activities are happening at an alarming rate. It was barely a few days after the woman who sold baking flour was robbed, shot and killed that several more of such robbery incidents took place in the same neighbourhood. Luckily, nobody was killed. But just when the residents finally thought they could get some respite, yet another robbery happened on the 28 of December which saw an apprentice at a neighbourhood shop shot on both legs after the criminals were unsatisfied with the amount of money they found with him. He is now hospitalised.
I have investigated these crimes to the best of my ability. And according to my findings, these are very unusual developments. The robberies and murder so far recorded in this particular area in Lagos is unlike anything ever experienced there. And now the residents are understandably worried. Most of them who agreed to speak to me on conditions of anonymity expressed major concerns about the security situation, even as they blamed it all on the Yuletide season.
Perhaps what is most unfortunate about these crimes is the fact that the police have done very little or nothing to find out who the perpetrators are. Some of my respondents decried what they call the utter incompetence of the Nigeria Police. It is interesting to note that there is a Special Anti–Robbery Squad [SARS] unit stationed not far away from the shop where the woman was robbed and shot dead. Those officers failed to prevent the robbery or even intervene on time to apprehend the gang. They are incompetent like that, and notorious for harassing law-abiding citizens by stopping and searching their laptop bags. They say that the unwarranted and unlawful searches are intended to secure the environment and forestall likely crimes. Yet, there they were on that unfortunate day as a the life was snuffed out of someone’s mother and wife while they did nothing and continue to do nothing.
Now back to the criminals, it’s most likely that they are a gang (or gangs) of criminals who are desperate to make enough money in order to have a good Christmas holiday. And now because of their desire to buy new clothes and and travel to their villages to show off, a woman has been murdered and a young man maimed. The victims have paid the price for Christmas. And they may not even be the last ones to do so…