The Gbagada kidnapping incident went viral on X, the former name of Twitter, barely three weeks ago. Since then, the Alapere area of Lagos State has seen an increase in insecurity.
Robbers known as “One Chance” now apply aboniki, a very hot balm, to their victims’ eyes.
A few of the victims, who were being treated at a hospital in Lagos, talked about their experiences with robbers in the state’s Alapere area.
One of the victims, who demanded anonymity, told Vanguard that her knee was struck with a hammer five times.
According to her, the robbery occurred on January 23.
She narrated: “Around 6 a.m., I was on my way to work from Alapere Estate, so I boarded a Sienna bus heading to Ajah.
“Although the area is usually busy in the morning, with cars and buses going to the island, there’s always activity at Ogudu Berger, Alapere axis, as many people living there work on the island.
“A lady entered first, and I noticed that the Sienna bus wasn’t as crowded as typical Lagos commercial cars.
“There were three people, including myself, at the back. Two guys in the middle with the lady who entered, and a man seated at the front with the driver.
“That is, we were only two ladies among the eight passengers. The driver was even playing gospel music.
“Suddenly, instead of going straight towards the Island road, Iyana-Oworo, he abruptly took a turn, as if heading to Oshodi.
“And that’s when I heard the driver say, ‘Guys, operate immediately’. As soon as he said it, the man at the back grabbed my neck, and another one on the other side in the middle held the other lady’s neck.
“They squeezed my neck, forced me to lie down, and snatched my bag while the car was still in motion. While extorting us they demanded my phone and password.
“As I laid down, one squeezed my neck, and the other used a hammer on my knee.
“They inquired about my phone’s contents, took N7,000 from my purse, and asked about my wallet and mobile bank wallets. I informed them I didn’t have those, and my UBA account was empty.
“They got angry and hit me harder, then took my phone and then my laptop.
“After collecting everything, they focused on the other lady, demanding money. She mentioned looking for a job on the Island, and they took some of her ATM cards.
“They drove through Ilupeju while the car was in motion and threatened to rape me if I didn’t cooperate.
“The driver applied Aboniki to my eyes, removed my earrings and pushed us out of the car.
“I begged for money by the roadside, went to Ogudu Police Station to drop a statement. A policewoman explained to me that this has been a frequent occurrence in the Ogudu, Alapere area.
“She said tthey have tried to stop commuters from boarding private cars several times, but most of them won’t listen.
‘They Had POS’
Also, a doctor, who preferred to stay anonymous, shared her encounter with some of these armed robbers in December 2023.
According to her, she boarded a mini-bus heading to church, unknowingly filled with robbers who had a Point of Sale, PoS, machine with them.
She said: “They withdrew N300,000 from one of my accounts and later withdrew another N800,000 from another account.
“We need to be alert and aware that a new set of gangs are in Lagos.”
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