Lagos Chiefs Decry Rising Wave of Political Thuggery

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Segun James

Following the rising tide of thuggery which has become a threat to law and order, titled chiefs in Lagos state have asked the government to find ways to stem the tide.

The chief under the aegis of the Association of Lagos Titled Chiefs (ALTC), a non-political association of chiefs and prominent members of the Lagos Community who have served the state and the country, condemned the current political situation which is threatening law and order in Lagos State.

The association, in a statement by its President, Chief Iyabo Foresythe, Iya Abiye of Lagos, noted that residents of Lagos while going about their legitimate duties are daily being harassed by political thugs and miscreants, stressing that this level of political brigandage is at its peak.

ALTC insisted that the route to democracy is not brigandage but respect for the rule of law and due process, which it regretted is not been respected anymore.

The associated said that Lagos State is the economic nerve centre of the country and seventh largest economy in Africa which controls over 70 per cent of economic activities in Nigeria.

“With a population of over 21 million people, eight million registered voters, Lagos is a true reflection of a national giant of democracy which cannot be allowed by us, key stakeholders, to go without a check on the unfortunate violent scenes threatening law and order.”

“Therefore, the poser to residents of Lagos is how did our cosmopolitan and politically vibrant communities fall into the hands of the current political players, whereby social forces keep throwing up a galaxy of do or die political opportunists, whose current fixation is breeding political thugs and miscreants, while ignoring and making nonsense of politics as a contest between lofty ideas, values and principles in the public
realm?

“In addition to this are the recent actions and threats issued by political leaders and other stakeholders to undermine peaceful co-existence, without fearing the consequences of the breach of law and order,” it said.

According to the association, “it noted with dismay the attempts by political leaders to scuttle our nascent democracy through their utterances and activities, thereby derailing our local democracy while ridiculing Lagos residents before the national democratic community. There are indications of political interests in recent clashes and group attacks in some parts of the Lagos communities.

“Unleashing mayhem on residents of Lagos and glamourising brigandage in the communities, most especially deploying the youths who are willing tools, all for the control of the resources of the state, with no visible impact on the living standards of the people is condemnable and unacceptable.

“As key stakeholders with robust interest in the cosmopolitan city of Lagos, the economic capital of Nigeria, the ALTC deplores the tension in Lagos communities and calls for the reinforcement of the rule of law, as residents of Lagos cannot continue to watch the erosion of their freedom to access certain areas in Lagos and move freely in peace.

“The association also condemned the continuous attacks and ease of taking up arms to unleash violence, maim and kill, very prevalent in our inner city communities, without any sober reflection and efforts to bring the alleged culprits to justice.”