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Hoodlums lord over Kano residents, maim many

We’re committed to end crimes – Police Criminal activities in metropolitan areas of Kano State have taken new dimensions in recent times with hoodlums, in…

  • We’re committed to end crimes – Police

Criminal activities in metropolitan areas of Kano State have taken new dimensions in recent times with hoodlums, in their numbers, unleashing mayhem on innocent residents.

This is even as the police insist that the rate of crime is decreasing with the high number of arrests of these hoodlums, but residents say they still live in fear as many of those arrested by the police are already back in the communities.

Daily Trust Saturday gathered from some residents that the criminals, after successfully taking away peoples’ belongings, stab or injure them in areas of the body that may lead to death or loss/disfiguring of that part of the body.

Recent reports by Daily Trust narrated how different people got their hands or legs amputated as a result of hoodlums’ attacks. The incidents are to the extent that the criminals, including teenagers and adults, now threaten to steal from, attack or kill people during the daytime and cannot be apprehended, as some residents claimed.

“Now, it is no longer the issue of phone snatching or stealing of properties. The fear is whether they will leave you alive or not, or injure you where you may survive without any amputation. That is our fear now. If they will simply take your belongings and leave, then you are lucky,” one of the residents of Kurna Asabe area, Sulaiman Abubakar, said.

Some of the communities where the hoodlums operate freely include Fagge, Kurna, Sharada, Dandinshe, Brigade and many others.

In Fagge, 21-year-old Salisu Hussaini lost his right limb as a result of the activities of the criminals who stabbed him while separating a fight. The man, who is a tailor, is currently hospitalized with the future of his business at risk since it requires the use of two hands.

Another resident of Kurna, Muhammad Sani Inusa, also lost an arm in March 2022 after hoodlums attacked their area and robbed people of their property. The victim, also a tailor, was tortured by the criminals to the point that they thought he was dead but he later survived with his limb amputated.

In Dandinshe, Aliyu Usman was attacked by hoodlums after he came out to help his neighbour who was being attacked. Not knowing that the hoodlums came in large numbers, Aliyu opened his house and some of the hoodlums descended on him, stabbing almost all parts of his body.

Likewise, a resident of Koki, Aminu Abba, lost his hand courtesy of phone snatchers who raided his area around 8pm. He was said to be listening to music on his phone while washing his clothes when the hoodlums launched an attack on him, maiming his left hand which later got amputated at the Murtala Muhammad Hospital.

In another incident, two hoodlums attacked a man, whose identity could not be ascertained, in Ja’in area of Sharada in the state metropolis, snatched his phone while he was recharging it around 8pm, and stabbed him on the chest. The man was taken to the hospital but later died from complications.

These attacks are carried out severally by the miscreants at different locations, with their dangerous weapons which residents believe are charmed, which is why injuries inflicted with them are usually deadly. 

Residents fault politicians standing as surety for hoodlums

According to some residents and community leaders, they are pained and disappointed over how these hoodlums are left unpunished by the authorities and sometimes even return to the community to continue their normal lives. Some of the residents accused politicians of sponsoring these thugs and always standing for them in courts and bailing them in police stations.

Alhaji Habibu Muhammad is a community leader in Ja’in quarters. He said “Whatever these thugs are doing is because they realized that no serious action is taken on them. The highest is for them to get sentenced to prison, spend some months or years and come out, or even get bailed by their bosses. They will kill people, and disturb residents and nothing is done to them as a deterrent to others.

“So, the approaches to these problems are not the right ones, honestly. That is why some residents take action themselves. Recently, in my area, a phone snatcher was arrested after he stabbed someone and they broke his leg before calling the police. And that too is not a solution because they have dangerous weapons and can easily kill because they are always out of their senses,” he said.

On his part, Shehu Muhammad Rabiu, Kano State Commandant of Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN), said the recent criminal activities in Kano are alarming and attributed it to drug abuse and the failure of parents to allow action on their children who are found culpable. 

He said if care is not taken, society will find it difficult to control the situation in the future and these will compound the problems.

He said men of VGN often clashed with thugs who invade communities either to snatch phones or perpetrate other crimes, adding that they always hand over the suspects to the police.

“Nowadays, we try as much as possible to keep our children away from vices and mischievous acts. Some of the youth trade illegal drugs inside their homes. When you want to investigate or arrest him, the parents would shield them.”

It was further gathered from some of the residents that the prevalence of the crime rate in Kano is a result of a new trend among the criminals which is to gather money and bail out their friends or pay the fine imposed on them by the court to secure their release.

A resident of Kurna, Shuaibu Muhammad, said he overheard some criminals in the area narrating how they raised money to set their friends free whenever they were arrested.

 “I noticed that they had snatched about 15 different phones from different places. And no matter how expensive those phones are, they sell each for less than N40,000. That was when I overhead them saying after selling the phones, they will pay for the fine of one notorious criminal among them who was sentenced to prison with an option of fine,” he said.

Proffering solutions to the situation, a sociologist from the Bayero University Kano (BUK), Mukhtar Nura Bichi, said although crime is not new to every society including the developed countries; in recent days it has taken a new dimension that requires several modern approaches to address it.

He pointed at unemployment, poverty, and greed among the youth as the major causes of crimes in Nigeria, cautioning that society and the government should play their parts in the process to end the menace.

“Most of the youth now are jobless and they have desires that they wish to satisfy. They are always looking down on petty trading.

“Taking drugs is one of the reasons behind this. That’s why the government is always into war to eradicate drug abuse and smoking because a person that takes drugs or intoxicants will lose consciousness and engage in such thing, like using a weapon to attack and even kill someone.”

He said “the dangerous weapons carried by the thugs leads to a ‘power imbalance’ which prevents them from being confronted and also gives them an opportunity to attack.”

We’re committed to ending crimes – Police

Reacting, the Kano State police command said it has arrested over 150 suspects over various offences including homicide, armed robbery, thuggery, kidnapping, and drug abuse among other heinous crimes in the state.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, said the arrests were made within the second quarter of the year 2022 while reviewing its anti-crime strategies.

“Constants raids of crime and criminal hideouts and black spots have been intensified throughout the state. Visibility policing and intelligence-led policing and synergy with sister security agencies and community-policing stakeholders.

“A lot of successes have been recorded within the period; second quarter of the year 2022 before, during and after the concluded Ramadan and Eid el Fitr Sallah celebration.”

He said all the suspects arrested have been thoroughly investigated and charged to court for prosecution.

Kiyawa added that within the eight local government areas of the metropolis, the issue of thuggery and drug abuse has been the most challenging, adding that the command has been on its toes to ensure that the people of the state sleep with their two eyes closed.