It is difficult to say that the Lagos-Seme Highway has shed its toga as home of crime. Over the years, this facility, linking Nigeria with her West African neighbors, has been firmly in the grip of marauders. According to Team Streetz investigation, various armed gangs still rule the road with gusto. They have no specific time for their operation.
all standards, the all important Lagos-Seme Road passes for an
international motorway, since it is the gateway to the entire West
Coast of Africa. For, hardly does any ECOWAS citizen come into or exit
Nigeria without accessing it. The hard fact is that several hundreds of
commercial and private vehicles ply the road daily, conveying thousands
of passengers and their cargo across the Nigeria-Benin Republic border.
And with Nigeria’s status as prince of the province, the number of
people using the road increases every day. Perhaps, if records are
kept, the figure may surprise everyone.
In the past years, the travails of commuters on the Lagos-Seme
corridor have been monumental. They have had to contend with several
portions of the failed road. Regular users of the facility say those
bad spots keep emerging each day. They contribute to the pain and
anguish brought about by the multiplicity of regulatory agencies on the
road. Non-Nigerians commuters have been complaining aloud about their
presence, maintaining that the actions of the personnel of such
agencies add to travel time on the road.
However, much more worrisome is the menace of marauders who are
still making life on the road difficult. Armed youths who strike at
various segments of the road are increasingly raising the status of
robbery to a trade. They waylay their victims, rob them of their money,
drag the women among them into the nearby bush and audaciously rape
them. This impunity has been going on without anything being done about
A little long ago, the portion between the Ojo Military Barracks and
Volkswagen Bus stops was the nemesis of many who ply that road. Once
the clock struck 7 pm, the fear of the area then was the beginning of
wisdom. Hundreds of youths seize the opportunity of the characteristic
traffic gridlock which still rules the area to commit mayhem. Coming
out in their large numbers and looking every inch vicious, they unreasonably unleash terror on commuters, robbing, killing and
maiming the unyielding ones. Once challenged, they allegedly scale the
fence and disappear either into the nearby military barracks or the
But following an onslaught by the police and the military, the
menace has been curtailed. Some of the youth robbers as Team Streetz
gathered, do converge on the spot are probably operating in other
areas. Now, the tempo of the menace has reduced considerably. Some of
the actors are apparently doing nobler things elsewhere or have channeled their energies into other vices rather than robbing at the
spot. However, the nerve-wrecking traffic chaos which characterizes the
area still persists.
While the area around Ojo held the notorious record as home of crime
and criminality, another point on the same road has been fighting to
gain similar popularity. The U-turn at Agboju, to many, is another
deadly point to fear. On a good day, police traffic wardens are posted
to the spot to stave off heavy traffic build-up. But Team Streetz
investigation shows that any moment the traffic bottleneck begins to
build following the absence of either the police or officials of the
Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), motorists suffer untold
hardship. The story is the same on both portions of the road up to the
Trade Fair complex bus stop.
Apart from the pains and anguish commuters go through, especially
during the rush hours as a result of avoidable traffic chaos, they also
get robbed while trapped in the traffic maze. They fall easy prey to
armed youths who take advantage of the confusion. The robbers simply
show commuters their guns – real and imaginary – and frighten them to
promptly part with their property. Unyielding ones are sometimes shot.
And since no one wants the experience the sting of a bullet they easily comply and hand the
robbers free rein.
Now with the ongoing Lagos light rail project, and the attendant
massive construction, commuters are having a hard time. Youth robbers
have been profiting from the confusion. This is already raising serious
security concerns in the area.
Shortly after the Agboju U-turn inward Mile 2, the construction
company handling the project only allowed a narrow link road between
the expressway and the inner Old Ojo road. What that means is that
motorists must squeeze through the narrow path to get by. On a bad day,
this spot has become a fertile ground for robbers operating both in the
day and night. In the day, they disguise as youths selling commodities
in the traffic to rob their helpless victims, especially those of them
who forgot to wind up their cars’ window glasses or don't have an air conditioner in their car.
Just recently, three staffers of The Sun Publishing Company were
robbed at the spot in broad daylight. Mr. Olumuyiwa, an accountant, was
a victim of the most dramatic of the robberies. He was handed a raw
deal in the morning, shortly after he had made a u-turn at Agboju and
was waiting to access the link road inward Old Ojo road. He was
accosted by three youths who demanded money, threatening to blow his
head to ribbons if he refused to comply.
Recalling his encounter with the robbers, he said: “I had dashed to
attend to a pressing family matter and was returning to the office that
morning. I made a U-turn at Agboju and had no problem doing that. I was
headed for Old Ojo road, but it was difficult because there was some
light traffic which made access difficult.
“My thoughts were centered on the enormity of things I had to do in
the office. However, I noticed three young boys as they trudged towards
my car. Initially, I misjudge them for hawkers, but I was wrong as they suddenly swooped on me. Two came through the passenger’s side,
while another approached from the driver’s side. My glass windows were
down to let in some air. Then one of them yelled at me ‘oya, oya, oya
bring all the money you have there now or you are wasted!’
“The moment I heard that, it dawned on me that I was in for the
unexpected. I knew that the unfortunate could happen if I didn’t act
fast. Responding in Yoruba, I told them to take it easy, that I was
going to give them all that they wanted. Just then, the one at my right
whipped out a gun. When I saw it, I froze.
“But regaining my composure, I dug into my back trouser pocket and
handed them N1, 000 note each. Seeing that, they yelled ‘oga please
bring more!’ For the second time, I gave them another N1, 000 notes
each. When they realised that I was bringing out the money piecemeal,
one of them yelled again ‘oga, now we will kill you if you fail to
bring more!’ Hearing that, I mustered courage and told them that I was
not destined to die just like that. But again I handed each of them
another round of N1, 000 note. At that point, the two at the
passenger’s side, dashed off to meet another victim. But the lad at my
“I was pleading with him to let me go when he said softly: “Oga, na
me hold the gun, if you no bring more money, you go die now!’ So I
began pleading with him to take additional N1, 000 notes, the very last
I had so that he would allow me go. While the exchange was going on,
the traffic began to move. As he thrust his hand into the car to
collect the money, I released the electric window button, and instantly
the glass held his hand. He then began to scream for help as I drove.
If the traffic moving was fast, I could have dragged him a long while.
But I thought about my window glasses which could be shattered if I had
dragged him further. So I released the button a little bit to free him
and he fled. All the drama happened within a few fleeting seconds.
“As I drove, I kept wondering if I was waking up from a bad dream,
but it was not. Thank God I had some money to give them. I don’t know
what could have happened if I had no dime on me.”
This tragic occurence is one amongst many of its kind that goes down on our Naija Streetz daily, due to poor security and mostly desperate attempts to survive, we only hope the concerned authorities will take the right measures and come top the rescue of the innocent citizens that have to bare the brunt of this menace.....stay connected to the Streetz for more trends on the Streetz.