Lagos is a City of Excellence that has brought wealth to many Nigerians from various States and is home to multinationals involved in international trade and investment.

The high population of people in the State supports the fact that earning at least basic living wage or income is more guaranteed in Lagos than in any other State in Nigeria.

However, Lagos is not only a City of Excellence, but also a “City of Pestilence” in terms of insecurity, as far as certain areas in the State are concerned. The State is home to hoodlums and bandits (Area Boys or Agbero) of various “qualifications” and definition. These Agbero are like princes, owing to the level of funds they are able to generate from numerous sources. At bus stations for instance, they sometimes act as tax collectors. They obtain levies from commercial bus operators from different parks and bus stops. They are also on the payroll of politicians and political godfathers in the State who see them as vital tools during elections. 

To be qualified as a “Lagos Prince”, you must have a “dilapidated” or mutilated facial structure to guarantee your fierce appearance.

While some of them focus on collecting levies and extorting motorists, the bulk of those causing menace in the State are also drawn from this dynasty. Like wild animals kept as pets, you risk an unprecedented chaos if you let them loose at any given time. During the #EndSARS protest which was poorly managed, we saw how they “decorated” the State with ashes.

For years, the Nigeria Police, especially the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), had tried to combat armed-robbery in the State and also to put their activities in check. This is notwithstanding that some of them also enjoy “royalties” from politicians which has helped to take care of them in their hoods.

Beyond all of these, residents in the State (Lagosians) are often victims of armed-robbery attacks and murder. Those more exposed are non-car owners who keep late nights or leave too early in the morning, in certain parts of the State. However, late night and early morning movement is inevitable in a State plagued by traffic. It is this same plague that also expose some motorists to risk, as they sometimes get attacked while stuck in traffic.

Dead Ends

Virtually all parts of the State have potential areas of risk. The recent death of a young Nigerian, David, hacked down by bandits at Jibowu and neglected by policemen as well as medical personnel as he drew his dying breath, has put the security issue on the spotlight again. Below is a list of some of the dead ends:

Jibowu underbridge
Ojota underbridge
2nd Rainbow
Mile 2 underbridge
Abule Ado
Iyana Ipaja underbridge

Some Nigerians on Twitter have added to the list. See below. 

Lagosians are advised to note the areas identified and take precautions. 

The Lagos State Government should take more proactive steps in arresting the insecurity situation in the State. There is need for more streetlights. The Police should mount presence in all the identified areas. Nigerians and Lagosians need to be safe and feel safe. The Constitutionally guaranteed right to life should not be meant to appear like a mere paper work. Life is priceless. Security of lives and properties is the core mandate of any Government. This should not be demonstrated only by enforcing Covid-19 protocols while hoodlums are fast ending lives. 


Featured Image Credit: Tribune

Stephen Azubuike
Author: Stephen Azubuike
Stephen is a lawyer with expertise in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Technology Law practice. He is a Partner at Infusion Lawyers. He has successfully argued cases from the High Courts of various jurisdictions to the Appellate Courts on behalf of financial institutions, other corporate bodies and multinationals. He has advised a number of both established and startup tech companies. He tweets @siazubuike.
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