Stakeholders in education in Lagos have called for the construction of military and police barracks between Ikorodu and Epeto check activities of kidnappers in the areas.
They made the call in separate interviews with newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos, they stated that the call became necessary in view of the increasing rate of criminal activities in the areas.
A parent, Mrs Joan Peters, said that the bushes along the road to Epe from Ikorodu served as shield for kidnappers and their cohorts to carry out their ungodly activities on innocent people.
She, however, expressed optimism that the presence of barracks between the two areas would force criminals to abandon the areas.
“I believe that criminal activities are on the rise here because the perpetrators have hiding places inside the thickets that they know will not make their arrest easy,’’ she said.
Thickets are groups of bushes or small tress that grow close together. These criminal minds have many ways to escape arrest through the bushes. They know that the security agents cannot pursue them to their hideouts, because the security agents don’t have knowledge of the terrain,’’ she said.
Another parent, Mr Ayo Okinbanjo, told newsmen that kidnapping flourished along the areas concerned because of the negligible presence of security personnel.
“One can count the number of security agents on that route during day. It is only few checkpoints that one gets to see the police on a route that is equivalent a two-hour drive. Everywhere, you find bushes and very few open spaces that criminals find useful to perpetrate their crime.
“The environment even makes these criminals to develop more confidence to the extent that they write letters to schools and streets, intimating them of their intention to raid the place,’’ he said.
A concerned citizen, Mr John Edigwe, said sitting of security outfits in the area would also deny criminals a free reign in the communities concerned.
Edigwe noted that kidnappers found the bushes in the areas as a haven to perpetrate their crime because there was no counter force.
“The mere presence of barracks is enough to tell these criminals that the area is not conducive for their venture,’’ he said.
A teacher, Mrs Grace Jonathan, said panic and pandemonium were the order of the day because of high rate of criminal activities going on in the areas in reference.
She said both public and private schools along the route in the area inclined to provide security against crime and criminality in the areas concerned, especially the activities of kidnappers.
“Government schools now have more police presence around them of which they have to spend more from their insufficient budget to sustain that policy. Part of the funds for the feeding of boarding students has to be used on upgrading the security infrastructure of my school.
“The insecurity of the areas is causing we, the teachers and parents to be sleepless, fearful and worrisome,’’ she said.
Activities of kidnappers and cultists have assumed disturbing dimension in Ikorodu and its environs in recent times.
Many private and public schools between Itamaga in Ikorodu and Epe have had to abruptly terminate their third term session, immediately after the last examinations, due to criminal activities in the area.