A country and a family have been left heartbroken by yet another death this time around of 22-year-old fashion designer, Ayanwole Oluwabamise, who was found dead in Lagos after boarding a Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, heading to Oshodi from Chevron bus stop, Lekki on February 26,2022.
Now, there is something about Lagos, Nigeria`s Center of Excellence, that makes it an excellent center for criminals of all shades and stripes.
In Lagos, even in broad day light, criminals display their activities like wares, daring overwhelmed security operatives to bring them to book. The criminals range from petty criminals to master criminals, and they include people of all ages and sexes.
There are the thugs who operate under the very nose of the government and perhaps with its nod too. They steal from people in public transport, harass passengers when they want, collect taxes they are neither authorized to collect nor for which they are accountable to anyone.
These thugs who rule many parts of Lagos with iron fists come alive especially during elections when politicians hire them to rig elections or brutalize and intimidate political opponents. So important have they become to the political establishment in Lagos State that the Lagos State Deputy Governor once described them as` brothers.’
Then there are the cultists the most vicious of which are mostly teenagers whose ruthlessness and bloodlust make one wonder when and where they lost the innocence of childhood, and if they were born with such innocence at all.
There are also the pickpockets, serial rapists and the staggeringly sophisticated cybercriminals. Together, they make a city which personifies more than any other the unbreakable Nigerian spirit to also typify more than any other the darkest side of the Giant of Africa.
So, in Lagos, many people go out daily for to fend for themselves and run into all manner of criminals. While some live to tell truly harrowing tales, many are not so lucky. Many are not even found and thus, the body count continues to grow in Nigeria`s most sophisticated states.
For Nigeria`s young people, every young person that perishes unnaturally in Lagos triggers the painful memories of October 20,2020, when at the Lekki toll gate, the unbridled bullets of state actors seared the youthful flesh of protesters whose only crime was railing against police brutality.
So, Bamise has become yet another victim, another life brutally cut short in the butchery that Lagos State has become. It appears that Nigeria`s center of excellence and commercial nerve center lacks justice in spite of the best efforts of its pace-setting judiciary and law enforcement agencies.
s signature state is in danger of becoming the graveyard of young people. To this menace, the authorities in Lagos State must rise. They must stand up to be counted. They must stand up so that Nigerias young people can count them and know they can count on them.
These unbearably ugly stories that always spill out of Lagos State takes away from the breathtaking achievements of the state in many areas in which the state has shown itself inventive, innovative and industrious.
Despite its status as the world`s second worst city to live in, many Nigerians flock to Lagos daily in search of greener pastures. Many find greener pastures in Lagos while many others find a graveyard. But it does not have to be so.
It should never be that in Lagos state or anywhere else in Nigeria, young people who go out to join the hustle and bustle of life at dawn should fail to return home at dusk. No one should.
s killers must be immediately apprehended, prosecuted and incarcerated, all those who have actively contribute in turning one of Nigerias most iconic states into a cesspool of crime must be fished out and fed into the shredder of justice. Together with their sponsors, they have no place in Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria.