A clearer picture has begun to emerge on the recent influx of traffic robbers, who have seemingly held Lagos hostage with their nefarious activities, inflicting pain and robbing motorists blind.
According to thisday,these robbers have a headquarters from which they operate and are deployed each time to major roads to rob.
Hiding under the guise of being roadside hawkers, these traffic robbers have in recent times caused grievous damages to cars belonging to motorists stuck in traffic.
Areas like Ijora, Mile 2, Costain, Third Mainland Bridge, Mushin, Obalende, CMS, have been constantly riddled with these traffic robbers, who sometimes smash the windscreens of motorists and make away with their valuables.
The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, who, made this disclosure, about the den of traffic robbers, at the command headquarters in Ikeja, said they ferreted the information from arrested traffic robbers.
At the last count, the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command had arrested over 20 of such traffic robbers, from different parts of the state.
Owoseni said the suspects while being interrogated had divulged not just modus operandi, but also their headquarters, from where they were deployed to rob motorists in traffic.
As part of measures to also counter the antics of the robbers, the CP also said the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has plans to inject a police helicopter permanently to Lagos.
He said, “Note that some of those guys (traffic robbers) have moved from the traditional areas. They only cash in on the opportunity of a breakdown of vehicle and since these criminals are mobile, they just do a stint.
“It’s a challenge for us in nabbing them because you can hardly predict when you will have a breakdown and traffic will build up immediately.
“But that is not to say that it’s insurmountable because some of them that has been arrested have given us useful information.
“They have a headquarters from where they are distributed out and that is why have also resorted to working under the disguise of selling pure water and gala.”
“You will agree with me that there many patrol vehicles everywhere. Once there is traffic, there are policemen moving up and down.
“They are often in motorcycles moving up and down but because of the indisciplined nature of Nigerians, as most of the people that drive never go to any driving school, they wouldn’t allow them (the police) to move in between vehicles.
“The policemen are called traffic monitors and last week we injected about 20 of them. You find out that rather than go and make a U-turn, they drive against traffic so they can monitor but Nigerians don’t understand that.
“Even if you make a distress call to the police, because the road is blocked, it’s a problem getting to that areas. There are other measures we are taking that I can’t say out so it won’t jeopardise our operations.”
While urging motorists to always obey road signs to avoid traffic build up, Owoseni said the command on its part would continue to emplacement security measures to protect the citizenry.