Abandoned vehicles: Miscreants’ new found home

Suspected miscreants sleeping inside an abandoned vehicle

Suspected miscreants sleeping inside an abandoned vehicle

THE large presence of abandoned vehicles on many streets and markets in Lagos have become worrisome even as criminals and miscreants in the state have converted them into hideout and temporary abode.

Before now, these undesirable elements were known to reside under the bridges, which served as comfortable places of abode but the clearing of the bridges by the government under the beautification projects displaced them. Now, they have found succour in abandoned vehicles while security agencies look the other way.

A Lagos-based sociologist, Kehinde Otigba, said the resort to abandoned vehicles as their dwelling place by the miscreants portends great danger to the security of lives and properties in the state.

Apart from being a comfortable resting place for the miscreants, Otigba said the abandoned vehicles also serve as safe keeping ports for arms and ammunition used for crimes.

According to him, the open nature of the vehicles makes it the last point of call for security agents during crack down on criminals. In most cases, the miscreants sleep in the vehicles during the day but at night they wreak havoc on the residents in the vicinity.

Corroborating the sociologist, a fruit seller at Ketu, Iya Maruf, said the area boys (urchins) who sleep in the abandoned vehicles also harass innocent residents in the night.

According to her, there have been reported cases of rape by miscreants even in these abandoned vehicles.

She therefore urged Governor Akinwunmi Akinbode to order the evacuation of all abandoned vehicles in the same way he recently directed individuals and miscreants in possession of illegally –acquired weapons to return them so as to further rid the state of crimes.

Another resident, Ayomide Michael said the four-week ultimatum given by the governor for hoodlum to hand over all the weapons in their possession to all the area police commanders in the state will be meaningless if there are possible hiding places for the weapons, which the abandoned vehicles readily provide.

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