Reports reaching the Nigerian Police across the country about criminals using the disadvantage of gridlocks to facilitate their crime spree has sky rocketed over the years.
Robbers have started cashing in on the unending gridlock between the Long Bridge and Berger bus stop on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway amongst other places to dispossess motorists and commuters of their valuables.
Our correspondent learnt that the hoodlums were attacking motorists and commuters as the gridlock intensified due to the narrowing of the road due to its reconstruction by Julius Berger Plc.
A motorist, Emmanuel Chukwu, was on Tuesday dispossessed of his mobile telephone at gunpoint at the Kara end of the bridge.
According to Chukwu, the robber took advantage of the gridlock and approached his vehicle, opened the door and asked for his valuables.
He said, “I left the office in Magboro around 9pm with a female colleague and as we got to the Kara area, we encountered the gridlock.
“As we were waiting to get to the front and see what caused the traffic, I saw a young man walking along the divided lane. Unfortunately, I did not lock the door; he opened the door and entered the car and he kept asking for my phone, which I gave him.
“He pulled the compartment in between the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat in search of money but he did not find any and that infuriated him and he asked for my wedding ring, and I said I had no money and he started shouting. He pretended as if he wanted to bring out a weapon, so, I stretched out my hand for him to see that I didn’t have any ring. So, he banged the door and left and went to his next victim.
“As we got to the end of the demarcation, I was waiting to see a truck that broke down but all I saw was a Danfo bus and some guys, who were trying to fix it, but I guess they just used it to cause traffic so that they could rob motorists.”
The victim, who stated that he reported at the Ojodu Police Station, said he was told that the robbery scene was not within the jurisdiction of the station.
Another motorist, Bola Oyelade, who was also robbed on the road on Tuesday, said the robber collected her wedding band.
She stated, “When I was going home around 7.30pm on Tuesday, one of the glasses of my car was wound down and all of a sudden, a man appeared from nowhere and demanded money, phones and my wedding ring.
“I gave him one of my rings and dropped the other one in the car and when he realised that I did not give him the original ring, he started shouting that I should give him the one I threw on the floor of the car and while he was looking everywhere for what to collect, the road suddenly became clear and I drove off.”
When contacted, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the command had not received any report of traffic robbery since the reconstruction of that section of the road started, adding that the victims should report at the nearest police stations.
He stated, “We have not had any report of robbery incident on the expressway since the construction began and we are doing a lot in that area; our men are patrolling the expressway for 24 hours.
“These traffic robbers are targeting when our team will not be at some points to strike and many suspects have been arrested and we are not relenting in our efforts at making commuters ply the road without fear of being attacked.”