About two weeks ago, a video went viral of a man who shared the dream he had at the same time with his sister pointing to the possibility of Fulani attacks on Lagosians. The man who looked worried and concerned implored the Lagos State government to stiffen the security apparatus of the state and also called on residents of Lagos State to pray against such an attack. The video created apprehension because of the surge of Fulani in Lagos in the past months, as they can be seen in every nook and cranny of the state.
The importance of population concentration can never be over-emphasized, Lagos being the economic hub of the country, has attracted a surge in migration concentration. Lagos State has the largest port population and therefore has the highest tendency of insecurity.
Lagos, Kano, and Rivers State are where there are higher population concentrations in density and migration wise. According to the report, Lagos State has the highest migration pace among the other states of the federation in statistics.
However, of all the demography of the migrants, the Hausa/Fulani Almajiris constitute 80 per cent of the number. The Fulani/Almajiris come into Lagos state in piles of trucks and in hundreds.
The surge of the Fulanis/Almajiris influx has however created frightening security reports which the Lagos government is aware is the plan by the illegal northern infiltrators to attack Lagos and wreak havoc through most of the Okada riders who are pre-dominantly non-indigenes.
For about a year or more, a lot of Okada riders who are from the North and outside Nigeria had relocated to Lagos to take part in the Okada business. And the reports showed that the continued existence of Okada and Keke Marwa in the state was fast becoming a threat to the peace currently being enjoyed in the state.
According to a reliable source from the seat of government in Lagos, the real reason the state government moved to ban Okada was much more critical than the government told the public.
“Forget the talk about the threat these Okada riders pose to human lives and the traffic nuisance they constitute. There is more to it. The real reason is that these guys have become security threats going by the findings of the various intelligence agencies. Have you noticed that the majority of Okada and Keke riders in Lagos are from the North, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso and they can’t speak English?
Everywhere you turn in Lagos, whether it’s on the Mainland or the Island, it’s these Hausa boys that you’ll find riding Okadas and Keke. They come into Lagos daily in their hundreds, loaded in lorries, trailers and trucks, along with their Okadas from the North. And now, they have taken over every nook and cranny of Lagos.
In fact, their number has increased to a point that they are close to matching the number of Yorubas in Lagos, which is something to be really worried about.”
“More worrisome is the fact that many of these people are not even northerners like we assume. A lot of them are actually from Chad and the Niger Republic, two deadly areas where Insurgency is rife. If you do not listen carefully enough, you’d think they speak the same Hausa language as our northern brothers, but they don’t.
Their language is different. Only their mentality and physical outlook appear the same. That is the real problem. Security reports reaching the state government is that majority of these ‘Northerners’ flooding into Lagos on a daily basis are most likely to be used as future recruits for terrorism by some of the terrorist groups sponsoring them. These are the future Boko Haram fighters who will be promptly recruited, trained and used to unleash havoc on Lagosians when the insurgents are ready to strike in Lagos.
In fact, going by the rate they’re loaded into Lagos in trailers with their motorbikes, they could overrun Lagos if they choose to. And with the cold war brewing between the cattle herders and Amotekun, you cannot put it beyond these people. Don’t forget too that Boko Haram fighters have been trying to penetrate Lagos without luck.
The government doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. This is for our own safety. If these people continue to grow in number, they will overrun us one day and that won’t be funny at all. The government doesn’t want them building terrorist camps and groups in Lagos, it is better to stop them in their tracks right from this moment before things get out of hand,” he’d concluded.
When City People interviewed the Lagos Information Commissioner, about a year ago, he admitted that the fact that a lot of people keep trooping into Lagos on a daily basis has jeopardised the security situation in Lagos. Truly so. The latest figures have it that about 6,000 people come into Lagos every day without any plans of going back. The only thing they are carrying is Hope, an intangible phenomenon that they feel they have and with which they will make it in Lagos.
“All of these has brought pressure on Infrastructure & security architecture” he explained. “So the government has rapidly expanded the Security Architecture.” City People gathered that as shanties are springing up daily, they are being smashed up.
Because the state government is smashing their hiding places, they have settled within the communities as gatemen, and fruit sellers, they carry wheelbarrows to sell yams, beans, fruits and vegetables. They have started to build small kiosks around every neighbourhood. They are now everywhere
As we speak, there is a lack of manpower in the Lagos State Police Command. Just about two months ago, the northern Okada riders stormed the police station in Ipaja, Lagos wielding dangerous weapons in a rampage to take over the estate gate. Up till now, the state government has not deployed any punitive measures to deal with the situation and the Okada riders are still at the gate as we speak. This gives a bad sign of looming anarchy. We hear of similar threats in Isolo and its environs.
Speaking on the Northern wanderers coming into Lagos, security expert, Olusegun Ariyo said that where there are sufficient police officers, one of the methodologies we expect from the police is profiling these people.
“When we profile them from the division to the area command, the people will be able to know the purpose of their coming to the state. In Ipaja, for instance, they are almost more than the residents population-wise. They sleep on the road, they sleep in front of people’s shops, and under the trees.
“They have literally taken over the nightlife. Once anybody is migrating because of food factor to another state, and no other purpose, he becomes a wanderer, and a wanderer has the tendency to do things tantamount to stealing, raping, and kidnapping because he hitherto has no good reason to come in the first place,” he said.