Leader of a gang of young minors that has been terrorizing traders and customers at the popular Idumota market in Lagos was saved from being lynched by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency recently.
The 13-year-old boy, name withheld, was arrested by traders for alleged stealing and robbery within the markets.
For the quick intervention of the LASTMA officials, he would have been killed by the traders, who were seen beating him mercilessly with different objects.
The boy, however, said he was forced into stealing as his parents abandoned him. “I was born in this market. My father and mother are also selling in the market, but they don’t cater for me. I roam about to eat and fend for myself. About 40 children sleep with me in shops at night. We wake early to leave the shops before people start coming for business.
“Sometimes last year, while I was playing football with other children, some guys from Jankara area called me and gave me a gun. They said I should help them keep the gun. They also called one of my friends called Daniel and also gave him guns to keep. We hid the guns in our clothes.”
He continued “ There was a day that they took us to Agege to rob. Daniel and I kept the guns they used for the robbery operation that day. They have taken us to other places to rob too. They don’t give us anything.