By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
The success recorded by security agents recently, over the abduction of three students at Ikorodu Lagos, has sent shock waves amongst different gangs that hibernate the creeks around Arepo, Ikorodu and Mosimi areas. Security sources hinted that while the most dreaded ones amongst the numerous gangs that litter the creeks are nursing the wound inflicted by the easy rescue of the students which they see as an affront that has punctured their invisibility, others believe that the time was up for them to relocate based on the tactic used by security agents in tracking the abductors.
Anger over non-payment of ransom
Worse still, the fact that the anticipated ransom did not eventually materialize is said to have pained their ring leaders who normally benefit from the proceeds, whether they participated in the operation or not. A source close to the vandals intimated Crime Guard that the vandals doubted claims by the police that they have rescued the girls and arrested some of their members until the last minute after the suspects were paraded. This, according to the sources, sparked off serious disagreement amongst the leaders as they kept on blaming each other for the loop hole that made it possible for security agents to demystify them. This is because, all along, they have been claiming that their abode in the creeks is a no-go area and highly impenetrable by any force.
Shocker by security agents
But this time, a combined force of the police, DSS and the military were able to penetrate into one of their main bases inside the creeks and that was how they succeeded in arresting the first suspect, Arigidi, who then led them to expose others leading to the release of the abducted girls.
So far, it was gathered that the arrest of some of their gang members caused commotion in the creeks to the extent that there was fierce infighting amongst their leaders. This has resulted in mass desertion of members from the creeks especially, after the police stated unequivocally that they were still on the trail of other fleeing members of the 12-man gang that kidnapped the students.
Crime Guard learnt that members of one of the most notorious gangs which belongs to General Osy have, however, vowed never to move an inch from their camp. They had earlier in a telephone call made to Vanguard denied complicity in the abduction but the revelation from one of the arrested suspects proved otherwise.
The call from the Creeks
At exactly 2.30pm, after Saturday Vanguard hit the streets with a bold, incisive story captioned,’Abductors of Lagos Students behind past killings of security operatives, bank robberies’, a call came from the creeks. The caller who identified himself as ‘De Don’ spoke with cautious optimism but bared his mind in unmistakable terms over the vexatious issue of vandalism and militancy in Nigeria.
The conversation with our Crime Editor ran thus;
De Don: Mr. Emma, this story you wrote today saying that General Osy’s gang are responsible for the kidnap of these Ikorodu girls, why did you do that?
Editor: Its from our investigation. Who are you?
De Don: I am De Don, a vandal. I am speaking from the creeks, inside the forest.
Editor: What! Are you proud of being a vandal?
De Don: Yes, very proud. Why did you say we did it? We do not kidnap or abduct people. What we do is to reap from our natural resources, that is our oil. We belong to General Osy militant group. You people are fond of attributing all sorts of criminality to us. This is wrong.
Editor: But you know that vandalism is a crime. Why do you people abduct, kill and maim innocent citizens of this country including security agents?
De Don: What do you expect from us, after suffering to go to school, no job, poverty everywhere? Yet, few individuals are benefiting from our natural resources. This is the crux of the matter. We are poverty-stricken and members of our families are suffering. Most of us here, inside the mosquitoe-infested creeks are graduates that passed out with flying colours yet, nothing to show for it. Every time, they say Niger Delta militants, are we not the g ooze that lay the golden egg? Yet, we are dying.
Editor: Is that enough for you people to be killing Nigerians and terrorizing all of us?
De Don: We don’t kill deliberately. But, if you block our way, we will not have any option and nobody, including security agents, can stop us from engaging in vandalism (shouts of yessooo, yessoo in the background). We do not kill unless you confront us. All I am saying is that we did not kidnap those girls as you wrote in your paper which we bought but we are vandals and we must continue with our trade and government cannot stop us. We can match them money for money, gun for gun. I am warning you to be careful with what you write because we can easily fish you out.
Editor: That will not stop others from writing.
De Don: We know but we can use you to show example to others that tell lies against us.
Editor: Let me advise you, you can see my e-mail in the publication. You are at liberty to state your own side of the story and tell the world why you do what you are doing. I assure you we will publish it.
De Don: Are you sure? ( good, that”s better from voices in the background). Ok, we have agreed and we are going to do a comprehensive write-up and send to your mail. Please, publish our story so that people will know why we are doing what we are doing and the way forward. Expect the write-up on or before Monday next week.
Editor: That’s better. Please include your photographs.
De Don: Which photograph? Save this my number as De Don of Vandals in Nigeria. If you like, give it to security agents, they cannot do anything. They know where we are in the creeks but they cannot come there. Till then. (call ends)