Residents of Ado community in Nasarawa state are sending SOS to the state government to save them from incessant robbery attacks. TERNGU UGESE reports
Mr Ocholi Enemali returned from the church with his family that fateful evening, they had dinner, he assumed the role of the wife who was away on an official assignment by putting the children in their beds before retiring to his own bed with the expectation of having a peaceful night rest, but that was not to be. At about 11:00pm, a gang of armed robbers numbering six stormed his house, broke in through the window shooting sporadically.
“Initially I thought I was dreaming,” Mr. Ocholi said recounting the frightening experience, “Then it dawned on me that this is real life when they grabbed me, over powered and tired my hands and legs and ransacked the house unchallenged.
“They made away with my Toyota Rav4 with registration number ABC 146 AJ and other valuables.”
When LEADERSHIP WEEKEND visited the Ocholis, little Master Shekinnah, was still in shock and couldn’t find words to express himself. School have resumed, he would have to face the reality that his Daddy’s car is gone.
The Ocholis’ experience is just one of the many cases that are reported almost daily in the community. No day passes without a crime incident. Everyone in the community knows someone who has been a victim of one armed robbery attack or the other. In fact, the popular saying in the community is: it is either you are a victim or a victim in waiting.
Welcome to Ado community in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state where criminals reign supreme.
Just three kilometers away from the Federal Capital Territory, Ado is fast becoming Federal Capital of terror due to the increasing level of crime and criminalities in the area.
Due to its proximity to the nation’s seat of power, Ado Sama is home to many who work in Abuja.
“When I packed in here with my family in 2015, one could leave the door of his house open, travel and come back and still meet his belongings intact, but currently, we live in fear with our hearts in our mouth,” lamented Mr Nathaniel, a resident of the area.
Mr James another resident of the community recounted how recently some armed bandits dressed in Army camouflage killed a resident around Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in the community.
In the cause of investigation, LEADERSHIP WEEKEND visited a plaza around Papa Cement junction in the same community, Mr Michael who owns a wine shop and a relaxation spot was counting his loses. Few days ago, his shop was burgled, his sound system, two plasma TV sets and other valuables were stolen.
Mr. Peter Gbum, public relations officer of the community, said lack of cooperation among residents is the main reason armed robbers and petty thieves are having a field in the community. “Residents don’t want to pay security levy we have engaged the services of vigilante but resident are not always cooperating, for example if you ask some tenants for security levy, they will ask it they are the landlord. But what they fail to realize is that armed robbers don’t care if you are a landlord or not. As a matter of fact, some tenants are worth more than their landlords.”
When WEEKEND LEADERSHIP visited Ado police station for comment, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was away on assignment and most senior officer on duty declined comment claiming he was not authorised to speak.
However, a police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that the police station don’t have enough personnel and a patrol van to response to distress calls. According to him, “How many of us are here? Even patrol vehicle, we don’t have. So there is very little we can do.”
This position of the police was confirmed by a member of the community, Mr Ernest, who simply said: “The police station is ill-equipped and can barely protect its self. As a matter of fact should the men of the under-world trike, the police may need to be rescued by the residents. We no longer sleep with one eye open, but with both eyes open.”
He said residents have armed themselves with cutlasses and sticks to be able to stand the fire power of the rampaging armed robbers. “But for how long would we continue to keep vigils?” he asked.
Following the incessant robbery attacks, tenants are relocating, landlords are putting up their houses for sale, those who can’t relocate can only pray for bands of angels to come to their rescue when the sons of the under-world strike.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Nasarawa State Police Command, Idrisu Kennedy, denied knowledge of the situation in the community. He said no such case has been reported to the command. According to him, “The Police can only come in when a report is officially lodged.”
He called on the public to always report any suspicious moves to the police for quick intervention, saying the Police are on 24 hours surveillance.
As the siege on Ado community continues, some residents have taken their destiny in their hands especially men, who now keep vigil for the fear of the unknown. With the current level of insecurity, if nothing is done urgently to halt the trend of criminality in Ado community, one day the residents of Ado would wake up to the rude shock that the whole community is stolen.
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