Mararaba, a bustling commercial area in Karu Local Government of Nasarawa State, has recently been plagued by a surge in phone snatching incidents. This worrying trend has caused concern among both residents and commuters who frequently pass through the area.
In a recent incident on February 13th, at about 6.30 am, a resident of One-Man Village, Mr. Johnson, fell victim to a phone snatching incident on his way to work. Johnson recounted that while he was responding to a message, an unknown young man snatched his phone with lightning speed and vanished into one of the dark alleys along the road. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, as a month later, another traveler had their phone snatched in the same area.
Reports suggest that the police in the area are aware of the thephone-snatchingg boys and allegedly collaborate with them. They have also been known to ignore victims seeking assistance.
The hot zone for phone snatching in Mararaba is between Access Bank and Mararaba junction along Keffi Abuja road, which is heavily populated by street urchins, commonly known as Agberos in Nasarawa State. It’s worth noting that Mararaba is a significant transit point for travelers, especially for those working in Abuja.
As a response to the situation, some residents have called for more police presence in the area, better street lighting, and improved security measures around the hot zones to deter criminals from operating in the area. They hope that these measures will help curb thephone-snatching menace and make Mararaba safer for everyone.
While there are no reliable data available to determine specific figures of phone snatching incidents in Mararaba or any other part of the country, the frequency of social media outcry from victims is a cause for concern. In 2018, an investigative report by THE SUN uncovered that stolen phones in the United Kingdom were being sold in Nigeria due to the lack of proper phone network regulation in the country.
According to a report by The Punch in 2022, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, the president of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, suggested that the government should simplify the reporting process. When people report the theft of their phones to the police, the authorities should contact a specific directorate of mobile network operators immediately to resolve the matter, rather than having victims endure the trauma of losing their phones or dealing with the police.