Robbers on Prowl in Abuja


Residents of satellite towns in Abuja are now living in fear as arm robbers raid their houses and cart away their properties

By Vincent Nzemeke  |  Apr. 7, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

THESE are certainly not the best of times for some residents of the federal capital territory, FCT, Abuja. Besides contending with the never ending traffic on road, long queues at filling stations as a result of the present fuel scarcity, residents of Nyanya, Mararaba, Kubwa and other satellite towns in the city now live in fear as armed robbers seemed to have laid siege on them. To make matters worse, these robbers don’t do their business at night. They operate in broad day light when many of the residents would have gone to work.

In recent times, the rate of daytime robbery occurring from Mararaba to the Masaka axis is quite alarming. Hardly any day passes without tales of how robbers invaded one area or the other. Many residents of these satellite towns are civil servants working in the heart of Abuja. They are the main reason why there is usually a severe traffic jam everyday along the Nyanya/Mararaba route. Having left to their various work places as from about 6 am till about 6 pm each day, their houses are left empty and unguarded during the day.

Consequently, thieves have decided to use the time between 11 am and 2 pm to rob houses. There has been a recent increase in reports that hoodlums break into houses and cart away whatever property they desire after their occupants who are largely workers have gone to work.

Michael Dauda

One area that has experienced recent daytime robberies is the popular OneMan Village located just after Mararaba. It is reported that most of the idle young men in the area are artisans, thus they are familiar with the movement of certain families and can tell when they may not be at home. It was also reported that these artisans are in league with some cultists in higher institutions in Nasarawa State.

Henry Dennis, a victim, living in OneMan Village, just after Mararaba, told Realnews how he was robbed. “Just about two weeks ago. I and my wife and daughter left home at about 11 am. I don’t know how they entered the house but it seems that someone climbed my fence then opened the gate from within. They drove in a car, broke my burglary proof, unlocked my main door and took all they wanted from the house, and then drove out. My wife came home three hours later and found the house empty. She shouted for neighbours to come around and they told her that they had seen two people going into the compound so confidently they believed that they were family relations. She later went to report the case to the police,” he said.

Samson Koledoye, another victim, who resides in Masaka, said that he lived in a fortified compound and he presumed that leaving his generator outside the door in a fenced compound would be safe. “For months I have been living in this compound and I always leave my generator outside the door. So on this particular day my wife and I left for work but by the time we returned we discovered that the generator was missing. Thank God they did not break into the house. I believe that it is those who are familiar with my movement that came in to remove my generator. It is not total strangers that did it”, he alleged.

Michael Dauda, a staff of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, was also a victim. He said that he was preparing for his wedding when the incident happened to him, “On that fateful day, I was to go with my brother to get some other necessary things for the wedding. We had already bought the clothes, aso ebi for the traditional wedding. So we went off, oblivious of them lurking around.  I am a civil servant, we returned only to find most of our property missing. The neighbours told me that the thieves came in a car and even greeted them. The neighbours were deceived by the confidence with which the thieves entered the house. The drove away with all the electronics in the house and even the clothes and other things we bought for our wedding. It was terrible, we had to start buying everything all over again”, he said.

When Realnews asked some policemen in the area what was being done about the situation. An officer in the New Nyanya division, who did not want to be quoted, said that it was best that residents also organise vigilante group to guard their houses during the day. Some of the policemen stated that the problem with the residents of the Karu area was that they were reluctant to collaborate with the police on security matters. They confirmed that indeed there has been an increase in daytime robbery as most communities have set up vigilante groups to watch their houses at night. “We advocate that people should also institute vigilante groups that will keep watch during the day time. The police cannot be everywhere at the same time,” he said.

According to him, even if you station a police man at a certain spot all day there may be no crime happening there whereas crime could be going on a short distance away. That is why it is important for the residents to collaborate with the police to report any such matter to the police. We do some patrols and raid suspicious hideouts but that is not enough. We always try to meet with stakeholders and the chiefs of certain areas to let them know the importance of working with the police. If a vigilante is guarding the house during the day then this new trend will be reverted,” they said.

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