The Bane of insecurity in Lekki


Insecurity has become a problem across the world. Many people are living in fear and have heavily restricted their movements in order not to fall victim to petty crimes or bloody attacks. Nigeria is not left out of the equation and in the last five years the country has witnessed an astronomical increase in cases of crime or insecurity. It is not news that there are security concerns in the six geo-political zones of the country. These criminal activities range from robbery, terrorism, and kidnapping.

Zeroing in on Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city, it is difficult to divorce the city’s history from crime and its heavy gridlock. The gridlock has enabled the former to some degree.


Louis Martin recounts his experience to The Lekki Post.

“My car was giving me issues this particular night. I had gone to see my siblings in Lekki and I was heading home when my car parked me by the road. I came out to check it, meanwhile, I was a little drunk,” Martin said.

“Not long after that, I was accosted by some petty traders. I had not completely left the vicinity of Lekki phase one.

“I got the beating of my life that day. What saved me was that I spoke Hausa to them. They took all my cash and left me with an empty wallet. I almost died that day.”

In April, Yetunde Arebi, a columnist for the Vanguard newspaper, recounted the experience on Addo road.

“I saw motorists abandoning their vehicles and running for dear life. I only managed to turn off the car ignition before taking to my heels. I never knew I could still run that fast. It was like seeing myself in one of those apocalypse movies,” Arebi recounted.

“We were there for about 30 minutes before the Police arrived. My co-survivors were amazed at my innocence and took the time to educate me that it is a regular occurrence on that road.

“The boys often take advantage of the traffic jams to raid vehicles, dispossessing people of their phones and money at gunpoint.”

Other residents of Lagos have similar experiences almost on a daily basis. Here is a Twitter user recounting the experience of his wife.


According to figures from Nigeria Watch Data, a platform that monitored violence between 2006 and 2020, Lagos and Borno states recorded the highest concentration of violent crimes.

The organization said Lagos had the highest number of attacks with 4,847 cases accounting for 17.57 percent of all attacks. The total number of attacks in the country between 2006 and 2020 was 27,584, it said. It said 44.86 percent of the deaths in Lagos were caused by multiple crimes perpetrated in the state. These crimes ranged from rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and vehicle theft among others.

The organization said the police in Lagos accounted for 27.56 percent of deaths recorded in the state during the period. “While Lagos had the highest cases of violence, Borno state suffered most fatalities,” it read.


Despite calls for a robust approach to the menace of crime and violence, the authorities in Lagos appear to be doing little or nothing about it. Although Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, has repeatedly called for a “strong collaboration” between the people and security personnel to enhance security not just in Lagos but across the country very little has been done to address the growing crime rate. Asides from a few policemen seen on the Lekki-Epe expressway and on a few major bus stops, there doesn’t seem to be any deliberate strategy to manage the series of robberies and attacks on the highways during traffic.  Despite having a commissioner of interior whose role is primarily to coordinate internal security within Lagos and especially flashpoints like Lekki, very little has been achieved so far.

Quick Win

Experts have long argued that one of the easiest ways to reduce crime on highways and major roads is to properly light it up at night and in the early hours of the day. Unfortunately, the Lekki -Ajah – Epe expressway is hardly ever lit, making it easy for the criminals to take cover in the dark. Kunle Jimoh, a security expert who lives in Lekki said in a short interview with Lekki Post, “something has to be done about these dark spots where criminals hide and run into. If we can light up these places properly and light up our roads, it will be hard for these criminals to commit the kind of brazen theft and attack that they normally do. That way, it will be easier for the police to deal with fewer criminals.”

What Is Eti-Osa Local Government Doing About It?

Efforts to get the chairman of Eti-Osa local government to speak on the matter have proved abortive, although attempts are still being made. Whilst it is true that the local governments do not have local police to deter criminality, there is a lot Eti-Osa can do that it is not doing at the moment. The three most important things that Eti-Osa should be doing are: first, better coordination with Alausa (the state government) on a deliberate strategy to nip the criminality in the bud. The second is an improvement of the road infrastructure. This does not in any way suggest that the local government should carry the burden of the state or federal government but it should ensure repairs of certain portholes that are used by criminals to attack commuters. Finally, the local government must take neighborhood watch very seriously. This will entail identifying abandoned buildings that can be used as hideouts, ensuring businesses use CCTV cameras, and a community-based approach in dealing with crime.


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