A new report by SBM Intel has shown that seven out of every ten residents in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb, greatly curtailed their nocturnal activities due to the activities of the dreaded Badoo gang.
The report, released on Thursday, noted that only ten per cent of the residents had left their routine unchanged since the gang’s attacks increased early this year.
While 37 per cent of respondents said they now restrict all their movements, 35 per cent said they no longer go out at night.
SBM Intel is an Africa-focused market intelligence and communications consulting firm focused on addressing the critical need for market data and big data analytics.
“While the activities of the Badoo gang has undoubtedly had an effect on the lives of residents, we observed an almost equal negative important effect of the activities of vigilante groups which have cropped up in response to the insecurity,” the report stated.
“This is in order to avoid harassment by the vigilante groups who have mounted road blocks at which encounters can quickly devolve to jungle justice if a person is suspected to be a Badoo member.”
At least 26 people have been killed in 15 different attacks since June last year, according to the Punch newspaper, when the Badoo cult began to unleash terror on Ikorodu residents.
In their latest attack earlier this month, the gang killed three people at the Crystal Church of Christ at Owode-Ajegunle, along Ikorodu Road.
A recent PREMIUM TIMES report showed that residents in Ikorodu are relocating from their homes in droves to avoid being victims of the deadly gang.
About 57 per cent of the respondents in the SBM Intel report said they would relocate their homes and businesses from Ikorodu if the attacks continue while 30 per cent showed a readiness to join the vigilante or other neighbourhood groups.
“Of those whose business as well as homes are in Ikorodu, 30 per cent indicated that they had nowhere else to go and would rather join one of the vigilante groups battling to curtail the Badoo scourge,” the report continued.
“If this goes unchecked, an epidemic of jungle justice will increase insecurity in the area, and affect economic activities even further.
“This, combined with the exit or diversion of the workforce to unproductive activities such as active membership of vigilante groups are bound to negatively impact on economic activities and productivity in the Ikorodu area.”
On July 2, the Lagos State Police Command announced it had arrested 100 suspected Badoo members, days after an angry mobbed lynched two men, in separate incidents, believed to be among the cultists.
The SBM report further showed that majority of Ikorodu residents believed that the attacks had increased the cost of living in the suburb, with 18 per cent and 45 per cent agreeing that the cost of living has skyrocketed and increased slightly respectively.
About 28 per cent said they had increased their spending on security measures at home while 9 per cent said they had done likewise at their workplace; 56 per cent adopted a security measure of closing from work earlier than usual.
Also, only 18 per cent of respondents reported not being affected negatively due to the activities of the group. About 28 per cent reported that their business had suffered lower patronage as people had opted to retire indoors much earlier than they would ordinarily do, and many of the artisans SBM spoke to constituted a majority of the 53 per cent who stated that they now work less hours in order to close early enough to avoid being on the road late.
In their survey, the researchers at SBM Intel employed methods such as one-on-one interviews and desk research to collate available data.
From the 100 people who live or run businesses in Ikorodu who were randomly sampled, the report noted that there was a general paucity of knowledge about the group.
It also noted that a large number of the respondents were unclear about the origin of the gang and their inner workings.
“To some residents, the idea of Badoo is a fiction, a convenient media creation,” stated the report.
“Many respondents told SBM field staff that they were mostly unaware about Badoo until this year. What this suggests is that the group has, possibly intentionally, developed quietly, without any of its members attempting to throw their weight or presence around.
“The implication of this is the possibility that the gang could grow even bigger, and still remain under the radar in relative terms.”