Lagos-Ibadan Expressway: Busy road where robbers reign unchallenged

Published 8 years ago by: Aliuniyi lawal
at 12:29 PM, 15/07/2011 (8 years ago)

(1374 | Gistmaniac) (m)

The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is one of the most important roads in Nigeria. It links Lagos with many parts of the country. Because of its importance, human and vehicular movements on the road are huge. But as important as the road is, it is one of the most dangerous to ply at night going by the spate of robberies on it.

Residents of Mowe, Ibafo and other settlements along the road told PUNCH METRO that if a vehicle breaks down on the road any time from 8pm, chances that the occupant would be robbed are high.

They said it was also risky to carry a luggage along the road at night as hoodlums loiter and rob unsuspecting passersby.

A resident of Ibafo, Mrs. Bisi Oluwogba, said even though she was a food vendor beside the expressway, she had learnt to close her shop before dusk in order not to fall prey to robbers.

“Just two days ago, a woman rushed to my shop telling me that she had been robbed. That was about 7.30pm. It was not even dark yet,” she told PUNCH METRO.

It was learnt that most of the robberies on the road were carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

A commercial driver, Mr. Braimoh Ojigbini, who narrated how he was robbed last year said some machete-wielding men who were speaking what sounded like Hausa or Fulfude attacked him.

He said,”My car broke down around 9pm that night and within five minutes, they were out, about six of them, shouting and threatening to cut off my head. I told them to spare my life and take my money.

“That night, I was robbed of all the money I made for the whole day. The two passengers in my bus were women. They were robbed of their jewellery and money. They even asked the women to remove their wrappers to see if they were hiding money underneath.

“The strange thing was that some of them wore only underwear and painted their faces so that they could look scarier.”

But a lotto agent, Mr. Bolaji Bakare, disagreed that those who rob on the road were mainly of the Fulani stock.

He said, “Let me tell you categorically, those who rob around the Warewa long bridge on the Lagos end of the expressway are usually Fulanis. You can ask anybody who had been a victim around that area.

“From there towards Magboro and Mowe, the robbers there are a combination of other tribes. By 8pm, they are already on the prowl, looking for any vulnerable victim. It is also true that sometimes they wear only underwear.”

In May this year, the car of an employee of Punch Nigeria Limited was snatched by six men wielding machetes in Warewa area.

On Monday, Mr. John Olanrewaju was robbed by some youths who were riding on a motorcycle at the Magboro area of the road.

Narrating his ordeal, Olanrewaju said, “I was standing beside the road, waiting for a bus around 8pm. I saw three men from afar, but I thought nothing of it because two of them pretended to be passengers trying to pay the rider.

“It was when they moved towards my direction and snatched my bag that I realised what was happening. ‘If you dare shout,’ one of them warned, acting as if he was hiding a weapon underneath his clothes. They were speaking Yoruba.”

He said although he was lucky because the bag he was carrying did not contain any valuables, the hoodlums ran away with it.

Apart from robberies, stories of kidnapping also abound on the road. While some residents are of the view that police ought to be patrolling the area regularly to keep the robbers at bay, they added that lack of light on the road also aids crimes. The expressway is devoid of light from the Lagos end to Ibafo.

“How can you have a long stretch of bridge as the one at Warewa and not have a single streetlight on it? Don’t government officials ply the road?” a commercial driver asked.

When PUNCH METRO spoke to the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, he said the problem was that most of the victims of the robberies did not usually report at the police.

He said, “People are supposed to report these cases of robberies even if it is just a mobile phone they took from you. The reason this is necessary is that whenever we are to analyse crime rates in a particular place, we need empirical figures to know how best to combat it.

“The outgoing Commissioner of Police, Mr. Musa Daura, recently gave two patrol vehicles to that area, even to the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Maybe the problem is that the patrols there are not done in marked vehicles, that is why residents of the area think there is no police presence on the expressway.

“Now that you have brought this to our notice, I can assure you that we would look into the matter. The Divisional Police Officer of Mowe-Ibafo would be contacted immediately to step up patrol on the expressway. In the past, we engaged armed robbers on the expressway, many were arrested and some even killed in the process.”

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maryclaret at 04:05 PM, 15/07/2011 (8 years ago)
(2195 | Gistmaniac) (f)

 I tire o. hmm



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