The trucks and its contribution to jungle justice in Lagos

By kareem Itunu Azeez

As a common norm, in the place I come from, when one thing happens, it usually trend and continue in that same way and in that same vein. It is out rightly condemn able with all margins one could judged the atrocities committed on a daily basis in the name of survival, by this youths, or generally men and women, in Nigeria lately- from selling of babies, stealing of female under wears, stealing and other terrible things done for money, the greatest slave master.
It is true that the people no longer regard the police force, talk less of fearing them, the police force who are now like beggars on the streets, they have never gone on strike, and however the poor condition they carry out their duties, they continue to remain on streets and roads and ultimately with their ever present roadblock.
Lately this menace and irregularities in our security system, has led to citizens been protectors of themselves, amidst the high crime prevalence. The judgment is instant once caught in the act, the street courts are unitary, everyone judges you with rubber tires, petrol and in few minutes, the suspect seems to understand the subjective meaning of fare well.

It was just a Monday morning, 18th of march 2019, another unfortunate fellow, fell prey to this harsh and trial judgment by the ever angry mile two mobs. Witnesses has it that, he was a bike thief, who wanted to snatch a motorcycle from its owner, this owner was hesitant in releasing it. Even in the presence of cutlass and various cuts. Although sadly the victim of the cuts died after some hours due to loss of blood, but the criminal also went to the world beyond.
Some say they were two, the other escaped when he realizes the bombshell is about to be unleashed, but the other, as angrily narrated by one witness is “hardened criminal” he machete the bike man thrice, one at face, neck and eventually the nose, which resulted into severe hemorrhage, people came immediately when they hear the sound of “Thief thief” from the dyeing bike man, and at once we was apprehended and beaten to a plum, by the angry mob.
Other sources say, their were two different criminals, who unfortunately met their waterloo the same day, one was been beaten in the present of the Nigeria soldiers, he was a suspect said to have stolen money, but was caught in the act, no one gave room for due process, but the irate mob, pounce on both and were burnt to ashes, viewed in the image below,
This sad scene took place at the busy mile two industrial estate, opposite Fatgbems filing station, and till date no police or any government officials have been seen or present at the scenes, and we have a sitting governor or rather a commissioner of police. Well, sadly the questions and many questions we continue to ask even with excess evidence, is how do this thugs or criminals get their sophisticated weapons..? Although-
The people no longer believed in the security system, the first question still would be, how do they get the guns they use? How do they still walk free after some days of been handed to the police? How have they become so courageous to do this terrible things during the day? And so many other questions that need answers.
The country is extremely hard, but it isn’t a reason to make others cry to be satisfied, neither is it, an opportunity for the streets to showcase their anger by passing judgment at instant to unfortunate fellows. And one of my many question is, how do we get here? And where do we go from here?
The people do this for two major reasons, one is that, so that others would see this as deterrent and see how painful a torment they pass through before death, secondly, its a sign of a failed security system. Like I said earlier, the police were created as the peoples closest friends to protect and promote civil peace in the society and neighborhood, but recent times have shown to us, how unreliable they can be. Some sources even went ahead to prove how the so call police aid armed robbery, the people no longer regard them as anything else, but uniformed thieves, so heartbreaking.
Sadly this has resulted into the dreaded state of lawlessness, abuse of power, and possibly if not handled seriously, some state of anarchy, and who knows, it could be anyone’s family member one day that may fall prey to this Jungle Justice.
A colleague of mine narrated a scene, of how about six guys with weapon attacked a woman who just arrive from the Seme-boarder, with goods, inside her truck, they ask to stay calm, in his words, “una dey collect salary monthly, but this na our own salary, so make una just stay calm but if you wan form actor see am ” they were shown guns. And there they were there till all robbery actions took place. This is technical and bold robbery or rather friendly robbery, but what state would the woman be.
As usual, we always will say, let the government provide jobs and security, people will work, and this crimes would reduce, but tragically, wen the moral standards is low, definitely, the society is in trouble, we are just coming out of “Benz and Pants” scenario, now its the return of Jungle Justice. A state of lawlessness.
The government is partly to blame, because the area in question is usually a busy place, a federal road, who has been blocked by various empty tankers heading to the badlands of Apapa, this tankers had been there for God knows how long, and not ready to leave their any moment from now. This is why many traffic hold ups are at rise, cars and trucks all vying for space to pass, and at night, this men of the underworld see this as an opportunity to carry out their bad acts.
During sunlight, even other places where truck are now used as temporary homes, you will see tragic states of the nation, immoral acts happening to school girls,and hawkers, who are lured by this tanker drivers, sometimes one might be lucky to escape the grips of hungry thugs, who do not have job, but to attack their unsuspecting victims, carting away their wealth. All because of the bad roads.
It is true that instant judgment which usually is always death, may be effective when it comes to reducing such bad trends, but let us also remember we are a people bounded by government, state under the jurisdiction of a system of government, if the police have failed the people, as the current situation is, whereby we now have soldiers everywhere, even at the scene of the situation it was soldiers controlling the mobs, but few of them cant control civilians who wants their will to prevail.
I therefore urge the Lagos state government, to look into this growing menace, before it becomes uncontrollable, and even more importantly the various trucks and tankers on our highways, all this are also part of why crimes are on a geometric progression.

kareem Itunu Azeez is a Public Affairs Analyst.

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