Forget The Gun, Bring out the Cutlass- More Criminals in Nigeria Turning to Machetes as Weapon of Choice

The Jos home of Super Eagles midfielder Ogenyi Onazi was attacked by armed robbers on Monday 12th September 2016. The robbers, were four in number, and made away with several valuable items including a white Toyota Highlander and an undisclosed amount of cash.

According to the footballer:

“The robbers came, pretending they were there to deliver a letter to my dad at about 1.40pm on Monday. But as soon as he collected their fake letter and asked where it was coming from, they swooped on him, tied his hands, beat him up, and inflicted machete cuts on him. The robbers took their time to take some valuable materials including a car and some cash. They told him this is the first in a series of attacks that they would launch on our house and that I (Onazi) will be their target the next time.”

“This is the first time the home robbery tactic of posing as couriers to lure home occupants out of the house has been reported. Other ploys to lure out occupants have been reported in recent times especially the method of switching off the generator and attacking the home occupants once they come outside to investigate the power outage.”

The five-man gang, who raided and robbed the Jos, Plateau State home of Ogenyi Onazi, defensive midfielder for the Super Eagles, were arrested by the Lagos State Police Command . The criminal gang stated that their quest for an enjoyable Sallah celebration pushed them into the criminal act.



Picture: The five-man gang, who raided and robbed the Jos, Plateau State home of Ogenyi Onazi, defensive midfielder for the Super Eagles, being paraded by the Lagos State Police Command

The victim’s neighbour in Jos, apparently masterminded the operation. The gang stated:

“It took us one week to conclude plans of how to carry out the attack. It was Kingsley, who brought the information about the house. Kingsley organised the operation, but he did not participate. We discovered that the old man lived alone. There was no guard at the gate. No cook or wife, but just him alone in a big house. Kingsley was angry with the old man because he felt that he was not assisting anybody. He lives alone and never bothered about any other person.”

Lagos state police command have been carrying out more interstate operations lately. Last week, the state’s police command carried out a joint operation with the Taraba state command which led to the arrest of a local security guard who murdered his employer in Ajah, Lagos state and fled to Taraba.

This armed robbery incident highlights a recent trend observed across the country of criminals and criminal gangs increasingly using machetes (cutlasses) to perpetrate crime.

Some recent instances include: The gang in this home robbery who were armed with only machetes. Those involved in the recent ethno-religious clashes in Lagos state were also armed with machetes. The recent herdsmen attack in Enugu were perpetrated by machete armed criminals, and the 26 September armed robbery attempt in Balogun Market in Lagos was carried out by a cutlass wielding robbers.

There have also been high profile international cases of the use of machetes as well including: the German machete attack, the Belgian machete attack, and the several London machete attacks.

This machete trend in Nigeria illustrates that simply carrying out “arms surrendering” or “arms mop up” operations will not be entirely effective in preventing criminals from perpetrating crimes.

More focus should be on identifying and eliminating the individuals (network analysis) involved in criminal operations. Close protection and other protective security professionals will benefit from updating their training and response procedures to include handling such attacks while in Nigeria.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top