Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sallah: Policemen deployed as gridlock lingers

Lagos—Traffic gridlock which became pronounced in parts of Lagos state a few days ago persisted yesterday. It was however attributed to last minute shopping for the Sallah celebration. Routes like Third Mainland Bridge down to Adekunle, Mushin, Oshodi, Bolade/Alasia, Ikeja-Along, Iyana-Ipaja, Ijora and Tincan Coconut were affected. The gridlock along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway also extended to Oyo and Ogun States as road users lamented the situation. However, there was heavy presence of policemen as well as officials of the Federal Road safety Corps and Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, LASTMA, controlling the traffic. The situation was worsened by trading activities as goods and rams were displayed by the roadside. As early as 6am, Muslim faithful, were sighted with their luggage at motor parks, heading for their respective home towns to celebrate with their loved ones. Consequently, the rush witnessed a hike in transport fares. For instance, from Oyingbo to Ilorin passengers were charged N3,000 against the normal N1,500. Also from Ikorodu to Ijebu-Ode and Sagamu, the fare which ordinarily was between N500 and N600, attracted between N800 and N1,000. Traders however, benefited from the rush as they witnessed a rise in sales. Meantime, in a bid to ensure a hitch free Eid-El Kabir celebration, the Lagos State Police Command yesterday, said it had deployed adequate number of policemen to beef up security in mosques, motor parks and other public places in the state. The Command said that policemen had been deployed to major highways to compliment efforts of officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority,LASTMA, for free flow of traffic, as well as to ensure motorists were not attacked by hoodlums. The Command boss, Mr Fatai Owoseni stated this during a press briefing on the command’s preparedness towards ensuring the safety of lives and property during Sallah celebration. Consequently, he ordered all road side hawkers, particularity those on major highways to stay clear or be arrested by policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad,RRS. The clampdown on road side hawkers he informed, will be intensified during this period, revealing that some criminals masqueraded as hawkers to unleash mayhem on their targets. “Some of these hawkers also double as robbers. They seize the opportunity created to dispossess people of their belongings. The command has concluded arrangement to reduce the number of hawkers in Lagos as the main cause of traffic gridlock is because the state is littered with hawkers,” he said.

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