The Lagos State Police Command has arrested 16 men suspected to be members of two rival gangs known as O Strong and Get ready.
It was learnt that the gang members were the ones causing mayhem on the Island. Some people had lost their lives due to the frequent gang clashes and extortion scams by the members.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects were arrested in the early hours of Saturday during a raid authorised by the Area A Commander, Imohimi Edgal.
According to community leaders on Lagos Island, the suspects had been terrorising the residents, traders and their customers with impunity for months.
Their activities prompted the Alagba/Obadina/Pash-Willoughby/Seriki-Akanni Joint Community Development Association to write a petition to the Area Commander.
The petition reads in part, “This is to formally report the resurgence of hoodlums in our community in recent times. These hoodlums consist of young men that have formed the habit of terrorising people in the community.
“They usually operate in large groups and fight each other. They then use the opportunity to rob innocent residents.”
According to the CDA the hoodlums were also complicit in the National Union of Road Transport Workers crisis in January.
It alleged that the hoodlums usually hijacked every gathering in the community and robbed people.
“If you’re doing any party or any sort of event, these hoodlums would storm the place and start robbing people or extort,” the association said.
Following the petition, policemen attached to the area command embarked on a week-long surveillance and gave their phone numbers to members of the community to alert them whenever the hoodlums began causing trouble.
The hoodlums were said to have attacked some Muslims coming from the Folawiyo Central Mosque after a vigil in the early hours of Saturday.
The hoodlums were said to have stabbed a security guard who tried to stop them.
PUNCH Metro learnt that some residents immediately called policemen who raced to the scene.
On sighting the policemen, the hoodlums tried to escape but the policemen were able to arrest one Fatai Alade and recovered a machete from him.
According to police authorities, Alade claimed that he belongs to O Strong gang. He then led the policemen to their hideout in Oju Ina area of Isale Eko where nine other members were arrested.
It was learnt that in the course of police investigations, the hideouts of the rival gang, Get Ready, was uncovered on Odunfa Street and six people were arrested with machetes and knives.
The CDA praised the efforts of the police for the arrests. It, however, said more raids would be needed to rid Lagos Island of hoodlums.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, who confirmed the arrests, said the police were committed to keeping the state secured.