Lagos—Motorists in Lagos have called on Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to urgently address traffic gridlock robberies in the metropolis which, they said, had become their nightmare.
They also urged the governor to ensure that bad portions of the roads which often create the gridlocks were repaired.
Those who spoke said they had lost their valuables and were at times maimed by the hoodlums.
The hoodlums often take advantage of slow moving traffic to rob people.
The robbers employed various modes for their operations, including using motorcycles.
At times, one of them would pretend to be crossing the road only to get the driver to stop and as soon he does, the others swoop on the vehicle to rob the occupants.
Also, they tell the driver that his tyre had gone down or that his fuel tank was leaking just to get him to stop.
Narrating their experiences, victims said they were helpless as there were no security agents to save them.
They also spoke of the need for the government to fix the bad portions of the roads.
A lady, who pleaded anonymity said that three hoodlums tried to rob her around 8 p.m. in a slow moving traffic at Odo Iya Alaro, Maryland.
“The hoodlums after tapping at my door glass followed my car as I had to change lane twice before the road later became free and I zoomed off,” she said.
According to her, she was helpless and started to press the car horn continuously to at least call for help before she was finally able to zoom off.
One Mr Tony as he preferred to be called, who was not that lucky said he was robbed at Fadeyi area of Ikorodu Road.
“There was nowhere for me to move to when about two of the hoodlums started hitting my door at Fadeyi along Ikorodu Road at about 8.30 p.m.
“I was able to hide my phone but my laptop bag on the seat and my wristwatch were forcefully taken away from me,” Tony said.
He, however, advised that motorists to be security conscious whenever they were driving at night as no one could predict where the dare-devil hoodlums would be operating.
Another victim, one Mr Deji, a banker, said he and his colleagues were attacked while approaching Apongbon, CMS around 6 a.m. on their way to work.
“We were four in the car that day when the hoodlums came armed with locally made guns and threatened to break the glass if we refused to wind down the glass.
“When it became obvious that there was nowhere to run to as the hoodlums became more aggressive, we had to wind down and release our valuables to them.
“This was after I was slapped twice by one of them,” he said.
Some of those who spoke also urged the government to rid the roads of hawkers as many of them were not selling enough articles that could sustain them.
They expressed the opinion that such persons might apparently be robbing in gridlocks, especially at nights to meet their needs.
The Lagos State Police Command had issued various warnings on illegal possession of firearms and also promised to free Lagos of robberies in traffic.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, has also set up a squad that monitors the operations of the officers and men of the force in all aspects of policing, especially tracking the activities of traffic policemen.
Apparently, the unit was established because of the numerous complaints by the public about the police causing traffic jams due to their insatiable greed to extort motorists.
The unit doubt was also to address the absence of policemen at these gridlocks and black spots to offer adequate security to the populace.
His predecessor, Mr Kayode Aderanti, on January 10, said the police would free Lagos roads from gridlocks to prevent commuters and motorists from traffic robberies.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mr Kayode Aderanti has directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers to ensure that all their traffic officers and all other personnel are on the road.