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Area boys back as army withdraws soldiers from Lagos roads

Posted by By Alex Olise on 2005/06/16 | Views: 271 |

Area boys back as army withdraws soldiers from Lagos roads


EFFORTS to sweep Lagos clean of street urchins also known as "area boys" may have suffered a set back as soldiers who have been at the fore of the crusade may have been withdrawn to their barracks.

EFFORTS to sweep Lagos clean of street urchins also known as "area boys" may have suffered a set back as soldiers who have been at the fore of the crusade may have been withdrawn to their barracks.

The Guardian learnt that the order withdrawing the soldiers might have emanated from higher military authorities who in turn may be obeying "orders from above."

The sudden withdrawal of the soldiers, sources informed The Guardian, might not be unconnected with an earlier plea by the State House of Assembly to the military authorities to re-call their men to avoid intimidating innocent citizens who may be mistaken for hoodlums.

A top military brass confirmed the withdrawal of the soldiers to The Guardian, citing "orders from above."

According to the senior officer: "Soldiers the world over are not trained to handle civil cases except in crisis time. They were forced to intervene three weeks ago when most of their men were harmed by the hoodlums."

With the withdrawal of soldiers across the metropolis, the "area boys" have resurfaced and resumed their usual collection of illegal tolls from commercial bus drivers.

But the commercial bus owners and drivers appear to be bent on resisting the return of the 'area boys' and have been putting up a staff resistance.

The resistance is currently causing chaos in the commercial nerve centre of the country.

At the ever-busy Oshodi yesterday there was serious confusion when a bloody clash ensued between the hoodlums and the commercial bus owners and drivers as the bus owners moved to dislodge the hoodlums who had again resumed business as obtained before the military's sack three weeks ago.

Most of the drivers who spoke with The Guardian, accused the police of colluding with the street urchins to extort motorists.

But a Special Monitoring Squad, which was recently set up by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ade Ajakaiye, has been given mandate to arrest any policeman caught extorting money from motorists.

The Guardian at the weekend witnessed a scene at the Charity Bus Stop area of Oshodi where three policemen "busy doing their thing" fled when they sighted the monitoring team approaching the spot. The officers ran the race of their lives while fleeing.

In an interview yesterday, Ajakaiye told The Guardian, that his men have been placed on the alert to check any crisis that may arise in case of a face-off between commercial bus owners and "area boys" within the state metropolis.

Three weeks ago when the soldiers pounced on the hoodlums, no fewer than 130 suspects were arrested from various parts of the metropolis. They were later handed over to the Police for prosecution.

The police on it's part, also went out and arrested 200 suspected hoodlums.

All the suspects were taken to the state criminal investigation department (SCID) at Panti, Yaba and are now facing prosecution.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.