The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) began combing all of the woodland near Jiwa, Dei-Dei, and its environs in an attempt to defuse tensions following the deadly brawl at Dei-Dei, which claimed the lives of over 15 people.
A week after the mayhem, residents of Dei-Dei and the surrounding settlements are still terrified, frightened that miscreants hidden in the nearby woodland will launch another attack.
The forests of these settlements are said to be well-known hideouts where criminals are supposedly recruited to spread mayhem in the area.
HRH Alhaji Idris Musa, the Sarkin Jiwa, who backed the raid, also stated that the forests are home to criminals who disturb the peace of the communities.
Similarly, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Comrade Ikharo Attah hinted the operation was necessitated by public outcry against the activities of scavengers, popularly known as Baban Bolas.
He said that while residents confirmed the involvement of the scavengers in the Dei-Dei crisis, it has been also established that a lot of notorious crimes were traceable to them.
He, however, bemoaned a situation where scavengers are often found to be moving around with dangerous weapons and attacking innocent residents.
He said, the operation will be extended to other places where these criminal elements, to guarantee maximum safety and security for all residents.
Attah added that FCTA had no plans to stop legitimate business of waste collection and recycling, but have the responsibility to tackle the crimes and criminals operating under anu guise.
According to him: ” We got intensive complaints about insecurity around Jiwa axis and communities that have come under attacks by people believed to be baban bolas. This areas is also notorious as it was the place where two police officers were ambushed and their rifles were also taken away, before they were later recovered.
” This is why we have to come out today under the directives of the FCT Minister, to clean all the dangerous forests where these people are taking shelter and wreaking havoc on the residents. We have arrested over 15 persons.
” Waste collection and recycling are not crimes, but the crimes associated with Baban Bolas, is what we will not fold our hands and watch”, Attah noted.
Speaking also, a man who works in Kagini Community, Chidiebere Nwajiuba, with a heavy heart confirmed the notoriety of the scavengers in the area, saying that he had falling victim several times.
Further, with a sorrow ladened voice, he alleged that his car had been vandalised , while buildings under construction in his site within the same area were attacked and all iron stolen by the scavengers.
Nwajiuba also corroborated the claims that scavengers were involved in the crisis that rocked Dei-Dei and it’s environs last week.