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Saturday, 12 January 2008

armed robbers : Reverend Patrick Adegbite

The menace of armed robbers in Lagos State has become a problem to the people of the state and even to the police authorities. Armed robbery incidents happen everyday and criminal elements conduct their nefarious acts unhindered.
These days it has become common to hear of armed robbers raiding banks at will, carting away mllions of naira and killing the police guards in the process. Robbery incidents also occur frequently in commercial vehicles (popularly known as One chance), in the church, market place and also in bureaux de change.
The advent of Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) in Nigeria in year 2001, almost seven years ago, has its own negative implication. This development has since been a source of joy to many Nigerians for the simple reason that they can have a phone without paying through their nose and without stress. But today, GSM has increased crime rate in Lagos State.
In early 2006, a Vanguard staff was attacked by these hoodlums at Gbagada area of Lagos State on his way home from work while trying to answer a phone call. While still answering the call, a man walked up to him and demanded for the handset. He initially thought that the man was a road safety official and tried to argue with him. It was only after the man snatched the handset and hit him on the head with a bottle that the journalist realised he was an armed robber.
The recent robbery attack on Vanguard Deputy Editor, including those involving other staff of the company, is another example of increasing crime wave in Lagos State.
Also the robbery attack on Tu Face Idibia, a hip hop and Afro beat music sensation, is another example in this regard. These robbery attacks should be an embarrassment to Lagos State and Nigeria as a nation. If I may ask, is it a sin to be a celebrity in your own country?
Late last year, rampaging armed robbers also shot dead a popular Catholic Reverend Father attached to SS Philip and James Parish, Reverend Patrick Adegbite. The robbery incident shook the Catholic community in the state and beyond. The Reverend Father went to a pharmacy in a shopping plaza at Lekki Peninsular Phase I to buy some drugs when he unknowingly ran into a gang of armed robbers who were operating there.
The robbers reportedly shot him at close range on the forehead and drove off living him in a pool of blood and the Reverend Father died on the spot. Reference to the scripture in I Chronicles 16:2 says: “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” In Nigeria today the reverse is the case where robbers do not have respect for the men of God.
Also late last year a veteran flutist and PMAN president, Tee Mac Omatsola Iseli was robbed of his flute and some cash. According to the veteran flutist, the hoodlums pounced on him and dispossessed him of his money and his much-cherished flute at Oke Afa Bridge, Isolo on his way back from the birthday of his friend’s father.


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