• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Curbing highway crimes in Lagos


The increasing spate of highway crimes is fast becoming something like a nightmare to motorists and commuters alike in Lagos. Reports reaching BusinessDay from victims of such crimes indicate that hoodlums and indeed armed robbers are now ambushing motorists on the traffic congested roads of Lagos especially in the early and late evenings robbing them of their belongings as they threaten them with harmful instruments and guns and smash their car glasses to gain entry into vehicles or force their victims to stop.

In the last one month BusinessDay got reports of such attacks on motorists plying the Orile-Mile 2 portions of the Badagry Expressway and the LASU-Isheri expressway. Indeed there are reports that this trend is also the case on many busy roads and bridges in Lagos especially at peak periods in the evenings when traffic is slow.

The clear implications of this reign of crime on our roads are that our highways are becoming unsafe. And for a City that prides in its attraction to foreign and local investors, safety of lives of residents as they move from one location to another in the course of their business activities and livelihood pursuit should be paramount for the government and the law enforcement agencies.

BusinessDay investigations reveal that such crimes are committed under the cover of darkness especially at un-lit portions of highways, bridges especially during traffic jams and on roads where Police presence are either absent or unevenly spread. Thus we believe that curbing this wave of attacks on our roads will require concerted efforts both from the relevant agencies of federal and state government towards providing street lights that are functional and the police through the assignment of Patrol teams possibly patrolling the length of the roads with motor bikes, or stationed at notorious points.

While we acknowledge that the Police road blocks in the country has often been a source of disenchantment to the citizenry, yet we believe that nothing is actually wrong in strategic policing of our highways to check crime and provide safety on our roads especially in the evenings when some major roads in a City are busy with traffic and many citizens are exposed to attacks. We believe that the Police and other law enforcement agencies can do this kind of policing properly without any form of abuse that may be counterproductive.

We call on the Lagos State government to continue its good work of supporting the Lagos State Police Command in the containment of crimes in the state by focusing on the curbing of highway crimes towards making our mega city safe and convenient for business. We equally call on the Police authorities in Lagos to use proper intelligence and map out crime prone portions of Lagos highways towards devising credible methods of tackling these criminals.

We also urge the Federal government to treat Lagos as a special state by devoting more resources to its Police Command towards crime control. This is justifiable on the basis of state’s massive population, its commercial capital status with a huge presence of businesses, and two major ports that generates billions of Naira for the federal government through duties.

If safety and security is compromised in Lagos, the impact on the economy of Nigeria will definitely be negative. Let us rise above party politics, parochial party-centred pursuits and pursue interests that will rather strengthen Nigeria.