Some roads in Lagos State are gradually being taken over by hoodlums, who pretend to be controlling traffic, owing to the absence of policemen.
Sadly, the hoodlums end up harassing and extorting motorists, especially at night.
As of Wednesday, October 28, 2020, there was no sight of policemen on Lagos roads, a situation that heightened the already sorry state of traffic situation in Nigeria’s economic capital.
Their presence was not also felt in other southwest states. However, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, some policemen were sighted patrolling some areas.
Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and those of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, who were always positioned at strategic areas to control traffic in Lagos, were not seen either.
Most motorists, who drove against traffic to maneuver the traffic, ended up being trapped for several hours.
The Oshodi-Apapa expressway was not left out as motorists spent over six hours on a spot without movement.
Working by proxy
Investigation by Vanguard revealed that some of the policemen posted from divisions to man traffic, employed the services of community youths to control traffic in their jurisdictions.
A drive round Ipaja, Idimu, Liasu road, Ikotun down to Cele, confirmed the new method, as some of the policemen were seen in mufti, standing by to watch their errand boys do the job.
However, by 7pm, neither the policemen in mufti nor their errand boys were seen, as they (policemen) returned to man their divisions, in preparation for the curfew.
Policemen in shock
Information at Vanguard’s disposal also revealed that most policemen were still in shock over the unprecedented attacks on them and their stations by hoodlums during the crisis sparked up by the alleged killings of some #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll gate by security agents, last Tuesday.
At the end of the attacks, six policemen were gruesomely killed, 38 others were injured, 48 police formations, and 71 vehicles were burnt and vandalized.
The attacks on police stations which apparently took the command by surprise, were also discovered to have demoralized many policemen, who are yet to recover from the impact. Currently, most of them have resorted to wearing mufti to work to avoid being attacked.