Why is there a spike in the recent level of violence and misdemeanour in Nigeria’s commercial capital?
Lagos State under Governor Ambode has, over the past two or three months, experienced a host of news worthy events that would not exactly make residents comfortable with their safety and well-being.
From the rampage of the Badoo cult in Ikorodu, through the floods in Lekki and other parts of the Island, to the shootings at Apapa, there appears to be a doubt of the ability of the State to be on top of the situation concerning the people’s well-being.
There have been other issues in places like Mushin and Somolu, relating to matters of inter-ethnic communal living and pre-elections violence respectively. Oshodi had its boiling periods about the upcoming Local Government elections too with the death of two popular figures in the area due to disagreements that may not have been unconnected with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s choice of candidates.
Then, there was the abduction of six boys from a Model College in Igbonla, Epe. The school boys were taken after efforts by the school security to hold them off and call for Police support amounted to nothing. Those boys, whose mates have graduated from school, have now spent two months in the hand of their abductors; the best effort so far by the State Government has been to visit the school and to say that the boys are fine.
The future Smart City that Ambode envisions is not going to be built on a foundation of insecurity. An admirable infrastructural project is ongoing at Oshodi, but should there not be a sense of assurance that the people who will get to use those facilities should feel safe in the city?
Improving Education and Youth Empowerment are means that can help put an end to the motivation that may drive membership in cults like Badoo. But while trying to those, children who are already in school cannot be vulnerable. The abduction of the Epe school boys – who are supposed to be the ones building the Smart Mega City – must be top priority on the Governor’s to-do list.