BY ISAAC ORIEKA
Between October and November, 1999 Ajegunle was thrown into a tribal war between OPC and Egbesu youth a mayhem that took many lives and left many properties burnt due to battle of supremacy between two aggrieved tribes.
Ajegunle is once again moving closer to the mayhem of 1999 with the intense poverty, unemployment, austerity and hunger ravaging our nation.
Youths in most part of the country know causes mayhem killings, robbery and violent acts.
The lives of millions of residents at Ajeromi Ifelodun Local government area, in Lagos State is at stake especially in Ajegunle popularly known as Aj city. Rampaging youth, criminal gangs, cultists engage one another in rival war for no justifiable reasons, indices of standard of living is low and alarming majority of the youths are jobless couple with the harsh, tough brutish condition of existence in the community. They lack clean drinkable water, poorly sunk boreholes, poor road networks and zero economic activities with no corporate organization nor federal presence, congested house, poor drainages system, epileptic electricity supply.
According to eye witness report, the escalating violence as affected the peaceful environment of Ajegunle community which is the host to many tribes in Nigeria including foreigners who came to settle in the community in the early 30s.
Residence are fleeing the community due to activities of these nefarious youths, these lawless youths gang rape young girls, married women, elderly women after stealing their phones and valuables.
Of a truth the level of violence and aggression by members of these groups have resorted in grievous bodily harm, destruction of property and deaths, the youths have become a law unto itself disregarding the authority of the Nigerian state as vested in the police and other security agencies.
Only recently, the rampaging youths engaged the police in fierce battle which many at times lead to confrontations such that when most of these culprits are apprehended by the Nigeria Army and SARS they still regroup and regain freedom with a determination to unleash ill in the community from their flash points appropriately all violent acts against individuals groups residents should be investigated as most residents live in absolute fear because of the recurring attacks.
Ajegunle is a community that has gloriously produced enviable musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs locally and internationally and highly respected sports men and women including politicians who had brought light honour and fame to the community.
The question to ask…why this violence?
What are the local chiefs (Bales) doing to checkmate these illegal groups, are the parents of these children not aware of their activities?
Causes of street gangwar
Weak government structure
Failed social system, values and norms
Feeling of emotional imbalance and bad lifestyle
Hunger and the anxiety to survive
Deprivation, bad behavioural pattern
Addiction to bad drugs, such as Cocaine, Indian Hemp, Tramadol, Scrutches and Cheecher
Peer influence and bad company
Aggravated anger and ghetto borrowed culture from the western world.
These deviance minority youths in Ajegunle possesses dangerous weapons which they use in their daily operations both during day and night they have turned street gang war into an ideology of worship, while rating it over human existence hence, they react violently by unleashing terror against whoever is on their part.
They mount road blocks on most of the streets by collecting illegal and unauthorized tolls from trucks, trailers, motorists and tankers.
Sometimes they express their anger forcefully by beating up drivers or conductors who failed to part with money.
They also shattered windscreen of vehicles and deflate tires to showcase their collective strength.
Countries all over the world are re-thinking their frame work and creating more dynamic governance for managing and controlling street gang war among youths who are highly charged with the desire to shake the environment like earthquake.
Therefore, there is a need to lay a new foundation by building a more enduring infrastructure to correct the structural imbalance in order for a balance development to take place in Lagos State.
The state government should properly investigate and prosecute those behind these clashes and violence in Ajegunle, by repossessing all illegally acquired fire arms including cutlasses without any hesitance, Lagos State government must demonstrate the necessary political will to proscribe all unlawful existing associations to curb the social menace in the ‘Jungle City’, the Lagos State Police command should put a mechanism in place for a proposed bill on street gangstarism to be passed into law as quick as possible for an immediate implementation so as to save the state from being taken over by street urchins.
Jungle City youths stop the violence, you are the leaders of tomorrow, do not copy negative behavioural lifestyle, be positive about changing your environment.
Expose dangerous flash points of operations in Ajegunle to the appropriate authority within the community in order to be spiritually rewarded.