Worried by incessant robbery attacks, some residents of communities in Lagos and Ogun states on Saturday resorted to self-help and the social media for relief.
The residents in Abule-Egba in Lagos State and Ifo and Sango-Ota in Ogun State, constituted themselves into vigilante groups and took turns to burn tyres, wield cutlasses and other weapons to scare away robbers and other criminals.
HumAngle learnt that in Abule-Egba, where robbers broke into homes on Saturday night, there was a lot of tension.
At 1:13 a.m., a terrified twitter user, @Layomii_ tweeted, “@PoliceNG, Please you guys have to come to Abule-Egba, it is bad. They are robbing my area. They have been banging on my gate.”
Her call for help was immediately followed by other residents, each person narrating their experiences.
As at 6 a.m. on Sunday, people put away their expectations for Easter celebrations and thought about how to stay safe with #LagosUnrest and #OgunUnrest leading the online trends.
At 1 a.m. on Sunday, Veno Oghenevo heard gunshots around his neighborhood and said,“I am unsure which side is shooting. Our vigilante or the armed robbers.
“I am telling my children that it is fireworks for the Easter celebration. I am scared.”
Kemi Olatubosun tweeted that her landlord went round the apartment in the middle of the night to wake everyone up so they could stay alert in case the robbers broke into the compound.
Nicholas Ibekwe reported a robbery at Iyana Ipaja at 4:42 a.m. He tweeted, “People are still being robbed around Iyana Ipaja, Abule Egba axis at the moment.
“One of my course mates at the university narrowly escaped with his family tonight. Residents of the house behind his, not so lucky,” he added.
Ola, @Diy_Ola dropped a tear emoji when he posted a picture of himself and other vigilantes on twitter. He captioned it, “Now, I am part of a vigilante group.”
He said that sleepless nights to protect the community was commonplace and described the development as a dereliction of duty by the security agencies.
Another twitter user @IamLeycorn also shared pictures of justice meted out to some robbery suspects who were caught by vigilantes.
Responding to the incidences, the Lagos State Police Command tweeted on Sunday, “Commander Area ‘H’ and the DPOs within the area have been patrolling Ijoko, Dalemo, Saka, Akinde, Alakuko, Abule, Alabado etc where hoodlums were harassing citizens.”
The Police revealed that five suspects have been arrested and that they will be on standby to forestall further disturbances.
Some residents believe the lockdown had contributed to the rise in robbery cases.
They suggested that the robbers might be desperately hungry due to the lull in economic inactivities since the lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked Nigerians for their “patience, resolve and strong determination to defeat the COVID-19 outbreak”.
In a statement on Saturday, the president reiterated the Federal Government’s plan to distribute food and cash to the poor and vulnerable members of the society.