According to a report given by VANGUARD, children are now being used to purport crime…Imagine yourself driving and suddenly, you get stoned by an under age person and you try to react but somebody appears out of the blues and says to you sarcastically: “Ah, ah, he is a child now! What do you want to do to this little kid? After all, you are a parent.” Unknown to you, that is a trick to infuriate and get you distracted in order to rob you. That is the new trick by criminals.
This is a new dimension in criminality as some underage persons are being initiated into three cults namely: ‘’Awawa, Baseje and Onyabo.” In Yoruba Language, Baseje means a destroyer of good things,Awawa means ‘we are relevant,’ while the third group, Onyabo means ‘forcefully coming en masse.This category of suspected criminals/cultists were said to have emanated from Papa-Ashafa, a suburb of Agege, and gradually spread to areas like Isale-Oja, Orile-Agege and neighbouring localities like Surulere, Ketu-Alapere, Alimosho and Itire-Ikate, all in Lagos State.These nefarious groups comprise both genders, usually between ages eight and 14 years and move in twos or threes depending on their mode of operations.Findings reveal that they are usually found in parties, market places, bus-stops and some gridlock-prone areas. In most cases, they look rough and unkempt such that one can easily take them for beggars.They move around cautiously, looking for good places to strike although one hardly believes it is what they do unless one falls into their trap.During the daytime, they come very close to your car, pretending to mop the windscreen unknown to you that they are with dangerous implements ready to launch an attack in case one does not ‘cooperate’ with them.
At night, they position themselves, pretending to be hawkers but at any slightest chance, one becomes their victim as they rob him.Now that law enforcement agents are found on some major roads in the state, this group of suspected criminals have also devised a means of outsmarting them. One of these is by positioning themselves a few meters after genuine Police check points pretending to be engaged in one activity or the other, sometimes as support to the law enforcement agents. But on the contrary, they are criminals, ready to strike at the slightest chance.Correspondents of Vanguard spoke with some of their victims recently and the story was almost the same. A victim, Mr Dapo Tunwase said:“It is better imagined than experienced. It is like what you watch in movies the day I had an encounter with them. I was coming from a supermarket where I picked some items for the family and suddenly, somebody walked across as I drove along Isale-Oja and I slowed down for the teenager to pass but the next thing I heard was a heavy knock by the driver’s door and I quickly parked to check what happened only for me to see a little boy. As I was trying to scold the boy, a matured voice spoke from another direction “Ah, do you want to kill him? After all, you are old enough to be his father.” I became a victim of robbery by the same people.”
Another person, Vincent Obah fell a victim around Idowu Street, in Ikate area. He said he was dispossessed of his belongings at gun point by some children. “They were three in number and I almost got blinded by their beatings.”Another victim, Mr Ibukun Ojulari called on government to enact a law prosecuting such children and their parents so as to curtail this ugly menace before it gets out of hand. Also, he advised road users to be at alert whenever they observe such setups.A private school teacher, Madam Alice Shem called on the state government to quickly nip the situation in the bud while calling on parents to give adequate training to their wards. “Parents should train their wards in the way of God and government should act fast before criminality takes a centre stage in the state.”*Na waaaaah O! May God not allow experience this or any kind of evil in Jesus name. Amen*So, now, what it means, is that, if someone ‘mistakenly’ hits you, steps on you, don’t bother reacting, it might just be a set up!All you men and husbands that love to act macho, beware because the fear of hoodlums with guns is the beginning of wisdom!