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Adaeze Ibechukwu: Let’s Talk About the Alarming Rate of Robbery on Lagos Roads



It’s depressing to hear and experience the armed robbery attacks that have found its way to Lagos roads in recent times. I remember journeying home from work on the Eko Bridge and the third mainland bridge, this time last year, without thoughts of armed robbery or assault (not that it was non-existent).

I am moved to write this article due to the recent wave of attacks that have become prevalent on some major roads in Lagos state. On Wednesday, the 21st of October, just beside the National Theatre, my sister and I were attacked by robbers who smashed our car window and demanded for our valuables. The day after the attack, on our way home at about 5:30pm, just on the Obalende, Adeniji/ Third mainland bridge, we were accosted once again by a gang who had according to eye-witnesses rioted and vandalized vehicles in traffic. Even as we shuddered in traffic, we watched them – young, able bodied men, young ladies and even a teenage boy brandishing weapons and making loud noise. To think that in broad daylight, such thing could happen is appalling!

There were littered on the road: bags and personal belongings obviously snatched from people and tossed away after the valuables had been taken. People shivered in fear as they sat in their vehicles praying to turn invisible.

On Friday, the 23rd, a young man came to our window, holding up some packs of plantain chips and the fear returned. I was like ‘they have come again’ but alas, it was just a lad trying to earn his keep.
What is going on? Should we tremble at the sight of our shadows? Are we going to spend the remaining part of 2015 in fear? What happened to the security officials? Are they on leave?

These happenings had me search the internet to see if there had been any reports on the incident. Bellanaija put up a post as regards the attacks, referencing tweets from eye witnesses. Linda Ikeji’s blog and Kemi Filani reported on robbery incidents as well. Linda Ikeji’s blog reported that Nigerian actress, Iretiola Doyle was robbed in traffic and injured (the blog has a picture of the actress’s hand which has been stitched). According to Kemi Filani’s blog, two men were shot dead along the Eko Bridge which links to Costain. Eye witnesses reported that these robbers raided commercial vehicles and private vehicles alike, as they shot into the air – while people abandoned their vehicles and fled for their lives.

Here comes my question: What is the cause of the new robbery trend? Yes, we have been hearing of robberies here and there but the happenings of the past week have been, in my experience, so horrifying as these robbers operate in gangs and groups. Not only are they dispossessing people of their properties, they are hurting people and have killed two people.
To make matters worse, there are no police vehicles on these roads and no security operatives as most of them either take to their heels or are not at the scenes of these outrageous crimes. The police motorbikes on the roads on the days of these incidents were devoid of policemen as they lay on the ground…battered.

Should we blame the Lagos State government? What can we do about it instead of apportioning blame?

Some years ago, things were not as bad as they are now especially as regards security – we experienced a truly peaceful Lagos. Even during the ‘elections’ when we predicted insurrections and Lagosians had rushed home from work- most even worked half-day -nothing happened.

Today is another day and I hope that this menace is curbed as it is truly getting out of hand. For commuters plying these areas, please stay safe.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Dimitrii 


  1. larz

    October 26, 2015 at 11:59 am

    What kind of country do we live in where you cant be assured of continuity when the newly elected governor is in the same party as the old. Whatever Fashola started, it looks like the new Governor has abandoned. Such a shame…

    • Ogechi

      October 26, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Lagos is becoming so dangerous, always scared for your life bcos you never know when you will be robbed. Two people that I know, have lost their lives due to this. And people wonder why I admire fashola so much. He’s the best leader Naija experienced in a long time. His heart is in the right place. Then some idiots want to tarnish his reputation or underestimate his effort for managing the most populous state. saying he’s anti Igbo, abeg carry go Jo. If he is, I won’t or my family won’t be here. I even claim Lagos more than Enugu. Lagos is the NY of naija. It’s not easy managing but he tried for Lagos. Ambode, what are you doing? Continue what fashola started. Make it even better that should be your goal. I don tire for naija o.

  2. madam

    October 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    My friend recently lost her boss, They were robbed in traffic n shot in their arms. He died during surgery to take the bullet out. God help us in lagos.

    • Fifi

      October 26, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      Very sad leaving behind four young children, as in the oldest just entered secondary school and a young wife, its like a nightmare living in lagos now,

  3. Evly

    October 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Fashola’s government was the best government lagosians have witnessed in recent years. Yet when he left, some ingrates tried to rubbish his government. What does that say about the ppl? Now you have to live with whatever this useless government provide.

    • ATL's finest

      October 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      @ Evly exactly my point.. Fashola changed lagos like 360 degrees but now look what Amobode is doing mtchew

  4. slice

    October 26, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    My people forget this govt thing. Pls look out for yourselves. If u can, get ur own small camera for your car and house. G

    • Manny

      October 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      What will the camera do?

  5. Drknite

    October 26, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Sounds like you need to purchase a gun.

  6. funmi

    October 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I was recently almost robbed about a month ago on my way to work around China town. Unfortunately for the robbers they didn’t see me in the car they only saw my driver cause it was dark. But they broke the passenger side glass.

    What was on my mind at that moment was if i had a gun, i would have shot the robbers. But thank God they could not get to take anything or even hurt someone.

  7. Tosin

    October 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm


  8. The real D

    October 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Ok, on this one I don’t even know how the citizens can help with this problem, unless, we now want a country where everyone is allowed to legally carry a weapon and I know that will only make matters worse. I mean people don’t have guns yet and we already have drama.
    To be honest security is something I really don’t know what the suitable solution is in our country. I don’t think the government takes the issue of security seriously, I mean BH had a high possibility of succeeding in Nigeria because of this. You don’t see even big ISIS having strong hold in countries that do not have some kind of war going on, yet we have BH in Nigeria getting stronger and bolder by the day. Again it comes down to our lack of security, having a camera to record will only allow you watch your attack over and over again because nothing will be done by the same cops that flee scenes when incidents arise or some that cops that may even be part of the problem. So on this topic I am stumped.

  9. swankie

    October 26, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Ambode should go and sit at Fashola’s leg to learn the trick to this trade !!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Sisi

    October 26, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Okay, now this is really scary

  11. demashi

    October 26, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    The hoodlums had been around all the while and they have simply taken advantage of Ambode’s lethargy. My car windows were smashed two weeks back in traffic on Ijora Bridge. The guys were aiming for the female occupants in my car and they made away with their bags – luckily there were no expensive contents therein. My major issue is that Lagosians have accepted it as the norm. After manouvering a safe distance ahead, the guys that drove past were bellowing, “sebi na only bag them carry, make you dey go”. The police guys at the station I reported next day seemed hopeless as well. If Ambode or the Government can’t handle the situation, the licensed gun control is the way to go. Sometimes I wish I did see those guys again and bury a knife in their torso’s.

  12. mabel

    October 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    The peace we used to enjoy in Lagos has been taken away . Within a twinkle. This was Lagos before Fashola became a governor. Armed robbery, touts everywhere, zero security. That was during Bola Ahmed’s time. When he and obj were on each others throat. We blamed obj. Oshodi was an oyo(on your own) town. Fashola came and made Lagos safe. At least if not completely. Now what do we have? Because of one man’s selfish ambition. Oba guess your gods didn’t reveal this to you. That your Lagos will become this while your chosen is busy balling. Unfortunately pmb can’t help with this. BH is giving him sleepless nights. God help us.

  13. Mabel

    October 26, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Can’t say this is something I know anything about, but what if a group of male citizens were to form a highway/neighbourhood watch group of sorts to go out patrol and dole out justice to these criminals? If the government isn’t doing for you then the citizens will have to look out for each other. There is power in numbers.

    • OgeAdiro

      October 27, 2015 at 1:22 am

      Why does it have to be male citizens? Not spoiling for a confrontation. Honest question.

    • Mabel

      October 27, 2015 at 4:04 am

      @Oge, simply because the average woman’s strength is not equal to that of most men, and since the majority of the perps are male it is probably best for men to deal with the possible physical altercation that is likely to ensue as they would be equal in strength. Not to say women couldn’t be a part of the group, they could be decoys and lookouts just the same, not sure how many would be interested in going hand to hand with a man though, unless they have some special martial arts training.

  14. frank

    October 27, 2015 at 1:20 am

    And people wonder why Americans arm themselves. It’s because of shit like these. No one not even the Govt has the right to deny/take your liberty/freedom/property or your life.. The police or Govt cannot protect you and your family. Only God & You can protect you and your family. The police are always minutes away and come after the crime. I’d rather be a wolf than be a sheep.

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