BY COMRADE OPALUWA ELEOJO SOMEON, B.Sc., M.Sc., CRIMINOLOGY AND SECURITY STUDIES.
“One Chance” is slang for the violent crime perpetrated usually by criminals who use various methods to rob most times unsuspecting passengers of their belongings under the guise of being commercial driver. It can also be seen as criminals disguising themselves as passengers to rob unsuspecting drivers of their vehicles and other belongings most times leading to the death of their victims. The activities of these categories of criminals have become a threat and nightmare to users of public vehicles in the federal Capital Territory Abuja and its environs.
Apart from its notorious history in FCT the month of April 2023 has recorded more incidents (dark figure of crime).
One chance criminals in other to effectively carry out their plans have devised a number of ways, these include.
1. The use of Seat Belt and Central Lock, if a vehicle and the seat belt is telling shorter than necessary, and the central lock system sounds faintly as if only responding at the driver’s side, chances are that you have entered a “One Chance” vehicle and the earlier you raise the alarm, the greater the chances of making it out safely – maybe with minor scar.
2. The use of hypotonic poisons: When an unsuspecting victim boards a car or vehicle, some of the perpetrator of these crime mostly ladies, will spray perfume or powder pretending to make themselves look good before you realize it the victim will go unconscious and his personal belongings such as bags , ATM Cards, Phones are stolen then such victims are thrown of the vehicle.
3. The use of dangerous weapons: Some who will want to go more violent on their victim may chose the use of dangerous weapons such as guns, knife, hammer etc. to perpetrate their heinous act.
4. The use of metaphysics manipulation: this is what is called juju or jars in our locals’ parlance where this criminal elements manipulate on the senses of their victims so as to have a full control of them.
IDENTIFIES HOT SPOTS
Although no part of FCT can be said to be completely free from thses menace, reports have shown the follow owing as hot spot and passengers plying such routs will need to remain vigilant while on transit.
i. The Kubwa express road.
ii. Begger- Area 1/ Apo Road
iii. Airport road
iv Begger- karimo- Dei Dei road
v. Kubwa – Bwari Road
HOURS OF OPERATION
Crime can be perpetrated at any time of the day but residence of FCT and its environs should be careful during the rush hours of the mornings and evenings, there are pocket of reports of victims taken by these elements during the afternoon hours of the day.
WHO ARE THEIR VICTIMS AND HOW ARE THEY LURED?
Anyone is a potential victim of this pattern of crime, therefore all residents of Abuja should be security conscious at all times especially the workers who depend on public transportation as their means of transportation.
WHAT SHOULD/COULD BE DONE TO CURTAIL THESE
i. Intelligent gathering by security agencies. Various security agencies should intensify efforts to gather information on the activities of these criminal gangs so as to smoke them out of the society.
ii. stop and search system of security should be intensified by security agencies so that victims can be rescued in good time where necessary
iii. Undercover detective operation should be in place at all time
iv. Technology enabled security system should be made to police the city. The Federal Capital City Administration should fix all CCTV Cameras in all the major roads in the territory and unmanned drones should be deployed to all the nooks and crannies of the territory.
v. Government should provide cheap means of transportation through Mass Transit Scheme. Mass Transit Buses and Metro rail system of transportation should be put in place to help convey residents from their homes to work and at a cheap fare.
Vi. All motorist in the FCT and its environs should be profiled for an early tracking in times of emergencies.
vii. Passengers should use designated parks to board vehicle.
Viii Victims should always report their experience to the police when it occurs.
“One chance” is one of the most prevalent crime in FCT and its environs, although this type of crime is usually very difficult to track and detect but with the right technology in place, intense security patrol, intelligent gathering and sharing among security agencies it is surmountable.