ESCALATING INSECURITY IN AJEGUNLE: POLICE AND LAGOS STATE GOVT MUST PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY
—WE PROPOSE GENERAL MEETING OF COMMUNITY PEOPLE TO DISCUSS THE INSECURITY
The Ajegunle People’s Movement (APM), a community campaign organization of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), calls on the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Lagos State government to be alive to their basic responsibility of protecting lives and property in the face of the worsening insecurity in Ajeromi-Ifelodun LGA.
The residents of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area have found themselves trapped in a nightmarish cycle of political thugs’ violence and insecurity. The recent events have exposed the failure of the Nigerian Police to address the escalating violence that has led to the untimely deaths of innocent youths, the paralysis of local businesses, and a profound sense of fear and despair.
Despite repeated calls for intervention, the response of the police has been lackluster and ineffective. This persistent lack of action has left the community feeling abandoned and disillusioned, eroding trust in law enforcement agencies.
The situation becomes even more perplexing when we consider the role of Honourable Fatai Ayoola, the executive chairman of Ajeromi Local Government Area. Despite the signing of a substantial N4 billion Naira plus budget for 2023, the residents of Ajegunle have seen little to no improvement in their security and living conditions. Honourable Ayoola’s apparent indifference to the plight of traders and residents raises serious questions about his commitment to the welfare of the community.
Adding to the web of insecurity, reports have surfaced of an allegedly alarming alliance between the Nigeria Police in Ajeromi Police Station, Operation MESA (OPMESA) and political thugs/militia. This allegation is not farfetched given that these criminal elements have not been arrested or prosecuted despite the recent escalation of their atrocities. These individuals, armed with dangerous weapons, have instilled a reign of terror on the streets of Ajegunle, further exacerbating the community’s plight. Such collusion between law enforcement agencies and political militia is an affront to justice and demands immediate attention.
In the face of this dire situation, the residents of Ajegunle must rise in unity to defend themselves and demand justice. They must organize peaceful protests with a firm demand on the police as well as both Lagos state and local governments to seriously address the insecurity. It is also important to convene a general meeting of the community people where a multi-ethnic, non-sectarian independent security committee will be elected. Such a committee should be saddled with the responsibility of mobilising a mass-based response against any form of insecurity and to also relate with the police and other relevant authorities over insecurity. Only through unified and persistent efforts can the community hope to secure their rights to safety and justice.
Coordinator, Ajegunle Peoples’ Movement (APM)