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STILL ON THE VICIOUS MURDER OF LASTMA OFFICIAL

Temilade Aruya

Hungarian-American newspaper publisher, Joseph Pulitzer once said: “There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, and there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.”

In Lagos, on December 15th, 2016, criminality was taken to a shocking dimension when a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) official in charge of Apapa area, Mr. Olatunji Suraju Bakare was openly killed in broad daylight. The Chief Traffic manager was gruesomely murdered by irate mob.

The cruel mob undressed and dropped the late officer inside the drain before lynching him to death. It was so pathetic how such gory incidence could happen in the open while all onlookers could do was to record and upload the brutal event on the social media.

It is, indeed, gratifying and soothing to finally hear the news of the arrest of two of the perpetrators and alleged coordinators of the senseless and heartless killing. This is coming on the heels of public displeasure that nothing seems to be done on the part of government as there was no news of any arrest or punitive action since the gory occurrence, as it is typically the case.

To many who felt government did not swing into action by sealing off the attack scene and embark on mass arrest of suspects in the customary police commando style; the fact is that this approach does not always bring about the right result as many innocent chaps are often arrested and detained unnecessarily. In most cases, such method often ends up providing food for corrupt uniform men who indulge in all manners of atrocities to government in bad stead

Discrete investigation and intelligence gathering is the way to go and it is in compliance with contemporary security strategy as it helps to prevent jeopardizing of evidence. Naturally, that nothing happened, at least to the knowledge of the public for days and weeks after the killing, gave the culprits the audacity and self-belief to stick around, with the false aura of security, thus making the job easier for security operatives.

Additionally, the fact that some disregarded the rule of law and justice by taking the law into their hands makes it more expedient for government to approach the issue with caution. That anyone could be killed in such a barbaric and brutal manner as the hapless LASTMA man is an indication of the state of total disregard law and order in our society. Any society that thrives on such gross disregard for orderliness could not attain much growth and development.

It should be stressed that the current government in the state has enormous respect for the rule of law. It, therefore, expects every resident of the state to do same. The eventual arrest of the two suspects of the LASTMA official brutal assassination will eventually lead to the capture of the remaining perpetrators of the December 15th killing. This, indeed, is a pointer to the fact that the Lagos state government believes in the instrumentality of the law to deal with criminality. This, no doubt, will send a signal to unscrupulous elements and law breakers, that no matter how long it takes; the strong arm of the law will always catch up with them.

However, to prevent a re-occurrence of such horrific incidence, all stakeholders and every law abiding resident must work together with the government and security agencies in the state. Situations like the one that happened on the 15th of December last year must not be allowed to degenerate to the level of lawlessness and the awry dimension it took. It was quite unfortunate that some of the witnesses that took the recording of the video that went viral on the internet claimed to have done so in the bid to ensure that the faces of the perpetrators were captured on camera but they did not make any attempt to stop the killing.  Society must be proactive and not impassive or unaffected when ill is going on, we must be responsive and alive to our responsibilities for the protection and security of lives and property.

It is also pertinent to stress that the presence of men of the Nigeria Police at the scene of attack would have gone a long way in dousing the tension and invariably prevented the killing of the LASTMA Officer. This brings to the fore the need for prompt response on the part of the security agents to emergency situations.

Finally, the case must be seen through to a logical end and government must ensure that all persons involved in the brutal killing of Olatunji Suraju Bakare face the full wrath of the law and receive the prerequisite sentence for their offence anything short of this will be dangerous as it will empower criminals to be more audacious and malicious.

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