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Lagosians panic over police, lastma absence on roads

Lagosians panic over police, lastma absence on roads

Lagosians have expressed worry over the continued absence of policemen and lastma on major roads and streets in the state.

Many vehicles stationed at flashpoints in different parts of the state to ensure police presence, have been removed.

A drive round Lekki area of Lagos showed that police vans usually stationed at the Lekki Phase 1 and 2, Ikate and Ajah areas, had disappeared. Also, the Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, usually stationed at flashpoints, were not seen.

Areas like Mile 2 Oke, Cele, Isolo and Toyota bus-stops had no police presence as it used to be before the attacks on policemen and police formations by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests.

Commuters plying the Mile-2/Badagry expressway are the worst hit at the moment as traffic robbers dispossess them of cash, telephones and other valuables, daily.

In some areas, hoodlums extort Lagosians who could not beat the 8pm to 6 am curfew time because of traffic.

Investigations also revealed that the regular midnight patrols of areas by Police divisions have also ceased, thereby giving room to rogues to operate unhindered.

However, absence of the midnight patrols was attributed to shortage of vehicles to carry out this routine duty, as the command had over 70 of its vehicles burnt and destroyed by hoodlums during the riots.

Also absent from the roads are officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, who complement the Police in traffic control.

As at yesterday, some officials of the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps, LNSC, were seen controlling traffic at some points, including members of the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, and community youths.

At Pako, Oke-Afa area of the state, some community youths were seen with sticks and other hard objects which were used on defiant motorists. Before their arrival Wednesday night, motorists were trapped for close to three hours at the junction, as everyone attempted to outsmart one another.

The FRSC attributed the absence of its officials on Lagos roads to lack of vehicles to carry out the function, revealing that they lost 13 operational vehicles in Lagos State alone, on October 24, with 4 others badly vandalized.

It, therefore, posited that no organisation would like to put the lives of its staff on the line given the situation on ground.

In addition, it was further revealed that FRSC officials were scared of being attacked by hoodlums again, since they unlike the police are not armed.

FRSC Spokesman, Asst. Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, said the organisation was scaling down its operations due to the recent attacks. He explained that “what we are doing presently is rescue operations. Every staff is on standby for rescue.”

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