After ferrying through the waters from Ikorodu to Ajah, Yomi Oriyomi, with a bag slug across his shoulders was walking past the palace of the Olumegbon of Ajah when his bag was dragged from his back by a Street urchin popularly called Area boys.
“He asked me where I was coming from and I said Ikorodu for fear that if I told them Jakande, they would wound me, because of the growing discord between boys in Ajah and Jakande” Oriyomi explained.
“I wanted to wrestle my bag from his control when he told he belonged to one of the cult groups. Before I could flash my eyes, he brought out a gun and knife and threatened me to run if I he would not wound me.
“While I was trying to plead, I saw about seven; eight others come out and surrounded me. I immediately surrendered my transport fare, my ear pods but somehow I managed to escape with my phone.
Oriyomi narrated his escape from the area boys in Ajah drenched in tension and his panting audible enough for the ears.
He explained how he surrendered to the boys as his life flashed before his eyes.
He said, “only my life mattered at that moment, that’s why I did not hesistate to hand them my properties the moment they demanded it.”
Earlier, Before Oriyomi spoke to Veonewsng, a resident of Seaside Estate in Ajah, Lola Margret had raised similar complaints.
She told our Correspondent how her sick son was waylaid on the road, beaten by these area boys and forced to give up the cash they found on him.
In an audio recording obtained by Veonewsng from one of the residents identified as Lola Margret, she narrated how the Area Boys molested her sick son on his way to purchase drugs along the Ajah under bridge route.
“My sick son who was heading to the Pharmacy was inside the Keke from Badore, Seaside to Ajah Under bride when some boys stopped the tricycle he was in and demanded money from him.
“When he did not give them, they called him a Yahoo boy (Fraudster) and proceeded to smack him before the Chairman of the Estate, called mobile policemen to go and rescue the boy.”
Margret also accused the police in the area of negligence in the face of such attacks, saying, “they and other vigilante groups do nothing, other than watch as we are being extorted or they also extort us too.”
When contacted, the Lagos Police Spokesman, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, said he was hearing about the harassment and extortion for the first time and sought time to notify the Divisional Police Officer in Ajah. He offered assurances that if the situation persists, he would escalate to the office of the State Commissioner of Police.
Hundeyin, however, admitted a need to reach common ground for improved engagements between police officers and citizens.
He said, “someone too just called from Alakija saying the policemen are not on the streets, thus, allowing area boys to have a filled day.
“But when policemen are there, it’s the same citizens that complain that they feel threatened, so we need a one fix all situation for all parties so that we can do our jobs effectively while the people feel truly safe”.
However, as complaints about the activities of Area boys grow, the Lagos state government remains quiet about the situation.
This has once again fueled insinuations that highly important persons may either be inadvertently backing these boys and their actions or the government has run out of ideas of how to keep them in check.