It was 5pm on Monday, when I closed from work. I had to drive through Mile 2 to connect my return journey to the International Airport Road. Unexpectedly, traffic had built up from Mile 2 Bridge to 2nd Rainbow Bus Stop. I had to join the long queue of vehicles. Before long, two guys seated on the pavement that divides the highway were looking intently at me. One of them beckoned on the other as they made a move to come towards my car. The other said no. With that I thought they didn’t pose any threat. I just looked away.
About 10 minutes later, I just saw them appearing from nowhere. Banging fiercely on the window on the driver’s side demanding I give them money. They threatened to break the car window, screaming at the top of their voices. At this instance, the cars ahead of me moved on a bit. I thought of changing lanes but everywhere was blocked, and it was impossible to do.
While I was trying to do that, one of them pulled at one of my wipers and threatened to pull it off. I wound down a bit and gave them a N500 note. They weren’t satisfied with this gesture. They demanded I give them additional N500. “Bring another one,” he screamed. At that instance, I became angry and shouted back at him. When they both realised they were losing the battle, they left.
While all this lasted, no police officer or LASTMA official was in sight. The usual police patrol van who would arrest motorists driving one-way along the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway were nowhere to be seen.
Then I began to wonder why Lagos nay Nigeria is still very unsafe. The road construction that is going on at the Berger Bus Stop, Vanguard Newspaper axis of the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway has led to a high concentration of traffic going down Mile 2 Bridge to link the highway on the return journey to Oshodi. Hence, the alternative route at Berger Bus Stop has been blocked. Turning back to Mile 2 has become almost a nightmare for motorists. LASTMA officials have abandoned their duty post at a critical time they are most needed.
It is not a crime for the road construction to go on, but traffic control officials must be on duty to ensure that traffic moves so that motorists are less exposed to miscreants who would want to take advantage of the situation to rob people of their valuables.
In addition, policemen should be at critical spots like Mile 2 to protect citizens against area boys who now enjoy robbing people on top of the Mile 2 Bridge. Two of my colleagues have been victims in the past.
It is the duty of the state government to provide security for the citizen. Governor Fashola has been doing well in this regard, but he has to do more. He could deploy more security operatives to critical spots like Mile 2 Oke, 2nd Rainbow Bus Stop and the Alliance Autos axis of the Apapa/Oshodi highway.
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