• Friday, December 01, 2023
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Surge in crime wave in Trans-Amadi, Rivers, raises fresh concern

Surge in crime wave in Trans-Amadi, Rivers, raises fresh concern

…As govt, police told to protect residents

…NGO lists possible rescue measures

The Slaughter area of Trans-Amadi Industrial Area, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, is said to have been overrun by criminality highlighted with killings, robbery, and rash attacks.

Investigations by BusinessDay indicate that the Trans-Amadi/Slaughter area of Port Harcourt has metamorphosed into a criminal den. It is found that this is posing threats to law-abiding citizens who are molested, maimed, wounded, and killed in the process of being robed.

No week passes without the corpse of a prominent resident being picked up. Findings show that this rise emerged since the place was demolished and the market demolished by the then Nyesom Wike administration in August 2021.

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The large army of petty traders in makeshift shops seem to have turned into an army of invading criminals. Sources that talked to BusinessDay say the state government and the Police command cannot say they are unaware of the killings and daylight robberies in Slaughter/Trans-Amadi area, especially a police station in the area is enough to feed information to the state command and the government.

Another source told newsmen in the week that a doctorate degree holder who is a chartered accountant, named Barine Lenee, has just been killed at the same spot. A source said his lifeless body was picked up last week.

BusinessDay however gathered that the suspected ring leader of the gang that allegedly attacked Lenee has been lynched by an angry mob. A source said he was caught stealing another phone and met his waterloo.

Those around the area said since the destruction and demolition of the Slaughter Market and dispersing of the crowd there, insecurity has rather exploded. Most of the men and boys who sold minor things and who carried loads (mostly from the north) have become something else.

A source said: “People are attacked with guns and matchets around the slaughter area, even in broad daylight, almost on a daily basis.

“Those familiar with the area would tell you that you dare not pass there by evening and lose guard even while in a car, as your phone, handbag, and other belongings would be snatched.

“Your car also dares not break down around there at late hours. People are pointed at in broad daylight and dispose of their belongings, while those who resist are killed. A female journalist whose car broke down there one evening got kidnapped until huge uproar was raised in the media.”

Lifeless bodies often decorate the area, a source added. “A few months ago, one of the prominent lawyers in the state, Adubabari Mankie, narrowly escaped being killed at the Trans-Amadi/Slaughter area when he faced stickup in broad daylight. He saved his life by quickly relinquishing his belongings to the criminals operating freely in the area under the eyes of the police.”

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Those who reside in the area said the sale with consumption of drugs is predominant in the area, with the police and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) also not seen to have done anything about it.

A non-governmental organization, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria), which has launched a security scheme in the Gulf of Guinea, seems to intervene in the Trans-Amadi security scare.

The executive director, Fynface Bumnamene Fyneface, told BusinessDay that something can be done. “For effective security of lives and properties of innocent citizens and unsuspecting members of the public going about their lawful businesses around the area at all times and especially by evenings and nights, YEAC-Nigeria recommends the following short-term, medium-term, and long-term measures to be taken to immediately address the security concerns around the Trans-Amadi slaughter areas of Port Harcourt.”

YEAC which strives to connect one million volunteers in the Gulf of Guinea, urged the Rivers State Government and the Zoo management/authority should ban all forms of trading activities in front of the Zoo, fence it around with demarcated wires.

YEAC also wants the state government to stop all forms of trading in the area but should move all the remnants to the same location (Mgboshimini) where the state government took the market to. He said government should impose a 6pm to 6am trading ban in the area and tricycles should be banned in the area.

Other proposals include: “The Rivers State government should ensure that solar street lights are constantly on and functional around the area at night to improve security and police visibility in the area.

“The Rivers State Government and Nigeria Police should immediately collaborate and establish a police mobile station at the tail of the Slaughter-YKC Bridge, by the Zoo fence, to improve security in that area.

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“The Rivers State Government should provide motorcycles for the police in addition to vans that should be stationed and manned around the slaughter roundabout to ease their fast movement to chase criminals for improved security.”

YEAC suggested that the state government should procure and provide security shocking torchlights for the police.

YEAC said: “It is our belief at YEAC-Nigeria as a development partner promoting human rights, social development, and working to mitigate organized crime in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, and the Gulf of Guinea that if these crime mitigation measures are adopted, implemented, and periodically reviewed, they would help to address the nagging security issues in Rivers State, especially around the Trans-Amadi/Slaughter areas that have metamorphosed into a criminal den with daily threats to the security of lives and properties and innocent lives lost in the area.”