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Rising traffic robberies worsen Lagosians nightmare

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Robbery attack in Lagos traffic

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Ekene Okoro, a former media aide to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday night when at about 9:35p.m. he came face-to-face with some daredevil Lagos traffic robbers.

Okoro had just dropped off his colleague, Augustine Akhilomen at Iyana Itire during Wednesday night’s downpour when two men in their 20s approached his car. The construction by Hitech on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway main lane inward Mile 2 had restricted all vehicles approaching Cele Express bus stop to negotiate to the service lane.

According to him, with less than 200 metres from Cele, a little traffic had built up, and he kept to the lane on the left, when out of the darkness, he heard “Oga, wind down your glass or I go break am.” Looking nonplussed, he immediately sighted two young men brandishing a machete and pistol.

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“In the spur of the moment, I recalled the experience of my very good friend, colleague and Public Affairs Officer, Olasukanmi Idowu, who had encountered same early last month. Immediately, I complied. ‘Oya bring the money, bring your phone,’ the two robbers barked at me.

“Unfortunately for them, I had only N1,800 in the hand-rest of my car. It was N2,000 a few minutes before the incident, but since the brand new Airport Road had become my favourite route in recent times, I had parted with N200 at the Toll Gate. I offered them the cash and my Tecno phone. They were unimpressed. ‘Oga come down jor,’ they ordered me, preferring to conduct the ultimate search themselves.

“Flashing lights from the cars at the rear, perhaps gave away my watch as one instructed me to take it off my wrist, while the other continued the frantic search, scattering my documents and papers in the pigeon hole.

“Done with me, they ordered me to move. At this point, I felt they wanted to use me as a bait to raid other vehicles behind. The rain kept pouring, there I was, barefooted (I had taken off my shoes earlier to free my legs a bit), walking in the rain. I felt like laughing, it seemed like a scene from a movie, but it was real and I was the main character.

“As soon as I saw that they were distracted with their next victim, the first thought was to run far away from the scene, second thought was to head back to my car and zoom off. I listened to the second thought. I sneaked back to my car, approaching from the front and hoped to jump in and zoom off. Alas! they had taken my key as a working tool. My car needed to block the road in order to create artificial traffic and trap more victims.”

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According to him, the boys had a field day moving from car to car. While some put up a fight, others complied. “Those who resisted had their windows shattered. Satisfied, they made their way to the other side of the road to the waiting arms of an okada rider, perhaps the third man in the team.

“At this point, I summoned courage and approached them. ‘Bros, what of my key na’, I asked. One searched his pocket for it and offered to throw it to me than have me approach them on the other side.

I collected my keys and continued my journey,” he narrated.

Meanwhile, about six Community Development Areas (CDAs) in Lagos yesterday in a protest march to Alausa, lamented the state of bad roads, which they said were causing robbery attacks in the areas.

The six CDAs comprising Progressive, Majeobaje, Millennium Housing Estate, Hope Garden 1&2 Estate, and Alayo Joint Community Development Association, LCDA Ijaiye Ojokoro, appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to save them from the traffic robbers that have descended lately on their communities, while also rehabilitating their roads.

Addressing newsmen in Alausa, Mr. Yemi Adebisi, who is the joint coordinator of the CDAs, lamented that he was recently attacked by the robbers as a result of the bad roads. According to him, whenever we call the police for surveillance, they also complained of bad roads to access the communities. We want Governor Sanwo-Olu to save our souls.


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