What we gathered from the ‘Anini’ trend and the latest arguments

Fact, they say, is stranger than fiction. Whoever said this should have found a way to infuse the term ‘history’ within the quote. Most of these facts we often think to be bizarre, were once the reality of a people.

On Twitter this Friday, one of these bizarre realities became the subject of discussion, as Nigerians took a trip down memory lane. A time where the term ‘notorious armed robber’ must have emerged.

They took to the streets of Twitter to discuss a man who was once a terror to the Nigerian people and government. He was Lawrence Anini; the notorious criminal.

Born in 1960, in a small town in Benin city, Edo. Anini would grow up to become one of the most frightening figures in Nigerian history.

He began with petty crimes, before growing into more daredevil operations. His most terrifying reign seemed to have come from August 1986 to December of the same year, when he was caught.

During that time, he is said to have killed about nine policemen, carried out over a dozen robbery operations, and terrorized the entire city of Benin, as the residents there were reported to have lived in constant fear of him. Soon after he would be touted as a mythical figure, having allegedly evaded arrest for quite some time, with the use of black magic.

This trend picked people’s interest at the end, following a question Police Superintendent, Kayode Uanreroro, who was in charge of his arrest asked.

According to the story, on the day of Anini’s arrest, the Superintendent who was leading the operation, having caught a man in his underwear asked; “Are you Anini?” to which the suspect replied; “My brother I cannot lie, I am Anini.”

This was particularly interesting because some Nigerians on Twitter are beginning to fathom the possibility that the person caught was actually not Anini, but someone who was willing to take the fall.

Some alluded to incompetence and corruption in the Police, dating it back to the Anini era.

While this new debate may still be on, the account of Nigerians who witnessed the terror reign of Lawrence Anini in the city of Benin confirm that he wasn’t faceless as he was very popular. It is also clear that he was able to evade arrest on multiple occasions due to prompt information he got from his accomplice in the Police.

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