Lagos intensifies efforts to curb menace of traffic robbery, street trading


Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has expressed his administration’s resolve to​ double up efforts to check the menace of robbery in traffic gridlock in some trouble spots in the state as well as street trading.

Briefing Government House Correspondents after the State Security Council Meeting, State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni said the Council looked at the security and crime situation in the past one month with a focus on the menace of street trading, land-grabbers, and all other security issues in the state.

“We’ve looked at the areas where we are winning, the areas where we need to step up our activities and one of those areas we looked at critically is the issue of the guys that rob on the highway in traffic gridlock.

“We have taken a decision to do all what we can do to step all activities, first, to decongest the traffic gridlock, because if we do that once traffic moves, we are going to take the street traders and hawkers off the road”​, Owoseni said.​

He said efforts were ongoing to decongest traffic, saying that it
would go a long way to reduce the incidence of unsuspecting citizens falling victim to traffic robbers.

“Once we decongest, we would also reduce the incidence of people robbing motorists on the road and of course the response time to distress call will be improved upon. Those are the things we looked at.”

“The meeting also took the decision that we continue our onslaught against criminals especially the land grabbers to make sure that they are brought to justice, once they are arrested, diligent investigation and prosecution carried out, to show examples to others”, he said.

Owoseni said the Council also deliberated on the menace of cultists, adding that efforts have been made within the last one month, jointly by security agencies to clamp down on them.

“We want to sustain the rate that we are carrying out at the black spots. We want to make sure that the issue of gangsterism and cultism is completely wiped out in the state”, he said.

On the resurgence of motorcycle operators popularly called okada riders, the Police Commissioner said security agencies within the past one month raided some identified black spots.

He said about 595 suspects were arrested during the raids and close to 400 have been prosecuted while 332 were convicted.

“We would not relent, we would continue on that onslaught to raid black spots to get rid of street hawking and people who perpetrate crime in the state.

“We’ve been all out to make sure that we enforce those laws to get them off the roads where they are not supposed to be. We are not just doing that, we are also inviting the various okada riders associations to let them know that everybody needs to obey the law and that when laws are made, they are not just made for the fun of it, but to be enforced and jointly with their cooperation to sensitise them on the need for them not to break the law”, Owoseni said.

Those at the meeting include the Commander, 9th Mechanised Brigade, Major General Mohammed Sabo, Commander Airforce Base, Air Commodore Lere Osanyintolu, Commander, NNS Beecroft, Olokun, Apapa, Navy Commodore Daniel Ikoli and Director, State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Okojie Little John.

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