Following the mayhem that occurred in Dei-Dei, a suburb of Abuja last week, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday, commenced raids on all the forests around Jiwa/Dei-Dei and environs and arrested 15 suspects.
Following the mayhem, residents of Dei-Dei and the surrounding communities still live in fear; afraid that the miscreants who hibernate in the nearby forests may launch further attacks.
The forests in these communities are said to be notorious hideouts from where miscreants were reportedly recruited to unleash mayhem in the areas.
The Chief of Jiwa, Alhaji Idris Musa, who endorsed the raid, confirmed the allegation that the forests harboured criminal elements who disturbed the peace of the communities.
The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah, said the operation was necessitated by public outcry against the activities of scavengers popularly known as “baban bola”.
Attah noted that while residents confirmed the involvement of the scavengers in the Dei-Dei crisis, it had also been established that a lot of notorious crimes were traceable to them.
He bemoaned the situation whereby scavengers were often found moving around with weapons and attacking residents.
According to him, the operation will be extended to other places where criminal elements hide to guarantee maximum safety and security for all FCT residents.
Attah added that FCTA had no plans to stop legitimate business of waste collection and recycling, but that it had the responsibility to tackle crime and criminals operating under such guise.
He further said, “We got intensive complaints about insecurity around Jiwa axis and communities that have come under attacks by people believed to be baban bola. These areas are also notorious as it was the place where two police officers were ambushed and their rifles taken away before they were later recovered.
“This is why we have to come out today under the directive of the FCT minister to clean all the dangerous forests where these people are taking shelter and wreaking havoc on the residents. We have arrested over 15 persons.
“Waste collection and recycling are not crimes, but the crimes associated with baban bola is what we will not fold our hands and watch.”