WITH the increased rate of militants’ activities and kidnappers along Lagos creeks which led to the death of some security personnel which included one military captain, two other rank soldiers, four policemen, and a civilian, senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, yesterday moved a motion on “the urgent need for the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies to intervene in the increased rate of kidnapping In the Lagos East Senatorial District And securing the waterways.”
The Senator, noted with urgent and grave concern the recent increase in the activities of criminal syndicates who specialise in kidnapping/militant activities in and around communities Kosofe, Epe, Ikorodu, Ibeju Lekki Local Government Areas of Lagos State
Ashafa while moving his motion, expressed concern that the activities of these criminals have forced law-abiding residents of coastal/riverine communities of the affected communities to flee their communities and livelihood out of fear. He sited the example of HRM, Kabiyesi Onise of Ise, Oba Ganiyu Adegbesan who has had to vacate the community due to the level of insecurity in the area.
While listing some of the recent activities of the criminals, the Senator brought to the attention of his colleagues the case of One Mr. Ademola Salami, a 42 Year Old plank dealer who was kidnapped on Friday, 7th April, 2017 in Ise community in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos East Senatorial District by Seven dare devil abductors, who escaped in a gunboat via the river. The abductors have now demanded the sum of 100 million Naira as ransom for his release.
In identifying some of the challenges of insecurity faced by the communities, Ashafa noted that for the past seven years, a divisional Police station commissioned in Ise had been a ghost of itself as no police officers were deployed there until the recent attack.
Laying a case for the urgent need to beef up the strength of the marine police, Ashafa reminded the Nigerian Senate that between April and July, 2016 there were reports of Militant activities in some communities in Ikorodu, including Elepete, Agbede, Ishawo and Igbo-Olomu, which led to the death of residents. These Militants’ were equally reported to have stormed the communities through the creeks using gunboats.
As he rounded up, Senator Gbenga Ashafa raised an alarm that the recent kidnap incidents in his district have assumed a totally new and disturbing dimension in the sense that on 9th April, 2017 a Captain in the Nigerian Army identified as Muhammed, Two other rank Soldiers, four policemen, and a civilian lost their lives after suspected militants attacked Ishawo, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State. Quoting the Senator, he stated that “The late security operatives were responding to a distress call after the militants stormed and kidnapped some residents of Woodland Estate, close to the Ishawo creeks with about 10 Speedboats according to reports relayed online. It was also reported that other innocent citizens who were seriously injured are now receiving treatment at the Ikorodu General Hospital.”
“The activities of these criminal syndicates have caused untold hardship to the people of Lagos East Senatorial district and the intervention of the Federal Government is urgently required.”
One of the Contributors to the debate on the floor of the Senate, Senator Joshua Lidani (Gombe South), stated that the issue of kidnapping was not only peculiar to Lagos. He gave examples of people including his relatives who were only recently kidnapped in Abuja on whom ransom had to be paid to secure their release. Lidani, therefore asked that the resolutions of the Senate on the motion be couched in a way to cover the security of the entire country.
The Senate therefore advised the Federal Government to direct the inspector General of Police to immediately instruct the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, to beef up the strength of the task force already on ground in order to effectively secure all the affected creeks and communities. It was also resolved that the Federal Government should direct the inspector General of Police to immediately make available sufficient helicopters for aerial surveillance and gunboats to the Marine Police department of the Lagos State Police Command, in order to enable the State Command effectively tackle the activities of the Militants. While all Security agencies were urged to work together to secure the entire country as the incidence of Kidnapping and other forms of insecurity had become prevalent across board.