img Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum - Lagos-Ibadan Expressway gridlock: Drivers, commuters decry roadblock, extortion by soldiers
Welcome, Guest.
Did you miss your activation email?

Date: November 14, 2018, 02:52:33 PM

Contact
imgimgimg

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway gridlock: Drivers, commuters decry roadblock, extortion by soldiers: Metro : Nigerialog.com - Nigeria's Premier Online Forum

70 views

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway gridlock: Drivers, commuters decry roadblock, extortion by soldiers

By: Gideon |Time : September 11, 2018, 02:36:39 AM
Commercial drivers and commuters plying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have lamented the gridlock caused by the illegal roadblocks mounted by some men and officers of the Nigerian Army on both sides of the expressway, opposite the Deeper Life Conference Centre.

It was learnt that the soldiers, who had earlier mounted the roadblocks at the Oremeji end of the expressway, recently moved them to the Deeper Life end.

It was gathered that the soldiers usually operated between 9pm to 5am every day to extort money from drivers.

They opened a lane on both sides, as they extorted money from commercial drivers and truck drivers.

The action slowed down traffic.

Some drivers and passengers, who spoke to journalists lamented the effect of the extortion on the traffic.

A driver, who identified himself simply as Baba Ibadan, lamented how the soldiers usually extorted money from him any time he passed the road.

He said, “As drivers plying the Mowe-Ibafo route, we are tired of the traffic caused by these soldiers at night. They were at the Ascon Filling Station end of the road before they moved to Deeper Life to cause this gridlock.

“When we are supposed to spend 20 minutes on the road, we spend about two hours because of the traffic.

“When you get to where they are, they will ask you for money and if you do not give them, that means you are not ready to go. They will tell you categorically the amount they want to collect; they once told me to give them N200.

“We can’t argue with them because of their uniforms and guns. We beg the government to caution them; they should leave the road.”

Another bus driver, Kehinde, claimed that the soldiers did not disturb private car owners.

He said, “They don’t disturb private car owners; they only collect money from commercial buses and truck drivers.

“They stop us because they know they will surely get money from us and there is nothing we can do about it. Because we don’t want them to disturb our work, we pay them whatever they ask for.

“The soldiers are the cause of the gridlock on this expressway. Where we are supposed to go for two to three trips, we can only go on one trip. At night, we spend over three hours in traffic.”

A driver, who plied the Ketu-Mowe route and gave his name simply as Olatunbosun, said anytime he decided not to give the soldiers money, he would be delayed, adding that grumbles from his passengers usually made him to succumb to their demand.

He said, “The traffic caused by the soldiers is affecting my work; it disturbs everybody passing through the expressway. Any day I decided that I would not give them money, they would ask me to park my bus by the roadside.

“Sometimes, they collect N100 from me. But they collect between N500 and N1,000 from truck drivers. The soldiers are after money. Even if there is an emergency, there is no way an ambulance will pass through because traffic is always on both sides of the road.”

The Secretary of the Ketu-Mile 12 chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Lukman Owotutu, said the soldiers, who were meant to protect the citizens, were only protecting their pockets.

He said, “They protect only their pockets; they disturb commercial bus and truck drivers and cause traffic, which is affecting our work.

“When it affects our work, the drivers take it out on the passengers by increasing the transport fare. When there is no bus that will take them, the commuters will be forced to enter the buses they see.

“Apart from the soldiers causing traffic, the motor park boys at Asese bus stop are also compounding the problem. We want the government to come to our aid.”

Some passengers lamented the time wasted on the road and the increase in transport fares.

One of the passengers, who identified herself as Iya Adija, lamented the increase in transport fares.

She said, “The government should help us to send these soldiers back to the barracks because we cannot continue like this. From Ketu to Mowe that we used to pay N150 or N200 for, is now N300 and when it is late, you will pay N500 as transport fare.

“Since this traffic started, I don’t close late again. Despite that, I spend close to three hours in traffic.”

Another passenger, who did not identify herself hurled curses on the soldiers, adding that they compounded the gridlock caused by ongoing construction work on the expressway.

A private car owner, Tayo Popoola, alleged that Nigerian soldiers were now behaving like the police.

He said, “The soldiers bring hardship on the people staying in this area. You can imagine the number of hours that motorists spend on the road for a  distance that is not up to five kilometres.

“They are to provide security to citizens rather than extorting money from them. It is unfortunate that Nigerian soldiers are equally behaving like Nigerian policemen.

“Extortion used to be a police affair before, now it has extended to soldiers. This is one of the reasons we are advocating that soldiers should not be involved in civil matters because it can corrupt them and once they are corrupt, it can be equally dangerous to our democracy. They have no business on the road.

“Since the government knows that it wants to repair the road, it should have put the Ikorodu-Sagamu road in good shape for people to use. Motorists would have taken that area instead of putting pressure on the expressway.

 “The government should release money to Julius Berger to complete the road and give the firm an ultimatum to finish the construction in good time so that this pain will be a thing of the past.

“They should also remove the soldiers; let them leave this place and go back to the  barracks. They should leave police work for policemen to handle.”

The Army Public Relations Officer, 81 Division, Lt. Col. Olaolu Daudu, promised to investigate the allegations.

He said, “Soldiers are professionally trained to carry out their constitutional role, I am not aware of this illegal activity. However, we will investigate the allegations because we are not even sure if they are soldiers in the first place because soldiers are disciplined.

“We want the public to know that we have a very regimental disciplined army; if we find out that they are carrying out this illegal activity, we will deal with them accordingly.”
punchng.com

Re: Lagos-Ibadan Expressway gridlock: Drivers, commuters decry roadblock, extortion by soldiers

By: Gideon |Time : September 11, 2018, 02:45:56 AM
It has been a long while I comment on threads like this... :- These soldiers should have been sent to the north because that is where they are needed and not standing on the road collecting "change".

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Reply

web site traffic statistics