Friday, June 19, 2009


Traffic snarls have become the bane of most cities in Nigeria, no hanks to bad roads and inadequate road networks. That robbers take advantage of traffic hold-ups on the highway in various cities across Nigeria to operate their nefarious business is not news. What may be news is their ever changing modus operandi.

There have been reports of hawkers of snacks and other wares carrying cartons, hiding guns and other dangerous weapons under their wares and using them when an opportunity presents itself, to hold-up unsuspecting drivers and passengers and dispossessing them of cash and other valuables.

On a particular day, at the Maryland Flyover in Lagos, Nigeria where many street hawkers sell their wares on the ever-present traffic hold-up on the St. Agnes end and sometimes opposite, some policemen acting on a tip-off presented themselves as hawkers and in the course of the day made several arrests of robbers who have been operating under the guise of hawking, even so close to a permanent police check-point less that 10 meters away.

I have decided here to publish excerpts from an article in the Daily Independent of Thursday May 7, 2009 titled, “Security Tips” to further expose the antics of such criminals. Read on. “Armed robbers mostly in their youth of ages ranging from 17 years to 24 years have been noticed to be the culprits. In the most recent cases, five different techniques have been adopted.

They ride in Okada and are mostly three in number or in a convoy of two motorbikes carrying one or two persons on each motorbike. They usually target their victims and follow them closely while the person is heading home both during the day and at night, sometimes to the office.

On the road while driving, they follow their target closely knowing pretty well that he/she might stop to buy some things while the traffic is slow or change the lane. In that case they will block their victim and one of them will flash a fake identity card claiming to be a security agent and once he gains entrance into your car he points his pistol at you and commands you to drive him straight to your house or remote hidden unknown hotel under gun point, then either rob or ask for a ransom, (it could be worse if wife or female teenager are at home).

They also pretend to be hawkers of recharge cards on the road. They carry used and unused recharge cards and an unsuspecting person who winds down car glasses to make a purchase especially at night falls victim to them and they will attack the person and dispossess him/her of his/her valuables and if the person is unlucky they might injure him/her”.

The author of that article also suggested some precautionary measures to be taken as follows:

“Be vigilant at all times while driving and ensure that your doors are firmly locked while you are inside”.

“Buy your recharge cards while you are in the office or at home and avoid buying things in traffic, it has become very costly to do that”.

Please put these tips into practice, they may just prevent and unfavorable situation.

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