By Onyinye Chibuike
Abuja-As the days go by, criminals in the Federal Capital Territory are gathering momentum at a dreadful rate, learning new skills and sharpening the old ones on how to dispossess people of their belongings.
Everyday, it is one story or another on how some body was robbed at gunpoint, knifepoint, razor-point and many other points that could inflict injuries on the victims if ever they fail to corporate.
These victims however are helpless so to speak as there is no system in place to protect them from this menace ravaging the city and the country at large.
I have heard stories of how someone was showed gun at Apo bridge and then dispossessed by the sons of the devil who roam the streets of Abuja looking for innocent hardworking people to reap from even when they have not in any way helped to sow these seeds.
A very recent one happened to someone I know who traveled all the way from Port-Harcourt to Abuja safely, boarded another car to go home from Lugbe at around 8 PM and while the insatiable driver was looking for more passengers to fill up his car, stopped by the road to wait for some young men crossing over to enter, only for them to approach the car, remove daggers from their back pockets and collected all the possessions of the occupants of the car. I also heard that at that same point around Karmajiji along Airport road, a security personnel was stabbed, probably by these same set of thieves. You might ask, in this Abuja? Yes!
There was also a story from a friend late last year on how a young man standing by the way side, saw her using her phone in a moving vehicle and rushed to the car immediately, put his hands through the window and made away with the phone. There are countless stories that go unheard and unreported because even those that are meant to protect the citizens are powerless.
The Nigerian Police Force are obviously trying their best but is there a possibility of expanding and improving on that best to make it excellent when it comes to discharging their primary duties of saving lives and protecting properties?
When the young man in the first story narrated his ordeal to me that faithful and unfortunate Monday Night, he also bitterly narrated how the matter was taken to the police station only to meet just two people on duty with one fast asleep and snoring away. How could these people do anything when situations arise.
He also said that there were several people when he returned the next day, most of whom were there to report similar matter of stolen properties and the Police Personnel on duty confirmed that the situation is on the increase but they are helpless. When he went to the crime scene with three officers, people’s belongings from previous attacks were littered all over the place; which goes to show that these guys have been in this business for a good while now.
If the Police is now helpless what would the citizens do? Should they take to protecting themselves? This situation really calls for urgent attention.
The Federal government, management of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) the Minister of FCT, the Nigeria Police Force, the National Orientation Agency and other agencies should work in collaboration to sensitize the residents on how to defend themselves from these hoodlums. Also more street lights should be mounted around those dangerous areas and if possible police checkpoints especially around Galadimawa area, Karmajiji in Airport road, Apo under bridge area and the roundabout and so many other areas that I might not remember to mention.
There is an urgent need to make Abuja safe again for all its residents and visitors alike, let us not wait to become victims before we take actions. Lives are at stake at every point in time and if this present situation is not nipped in the bud, there might become a time when these thieves will upgrade from wielding knives to guns and other very sophisticated weapons. A stitch in time they say, saves nine!
Image credit: sabq.org