29th February, 2012
There were mixed reactions by Lagos motorists to the dismantling of checkpoints ordered two weeks ago by the Inspector-General of Police.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while some motorists commended the directive, others called for the re-instatement of the checkpoints to curb the rising crime wave in the country.
A motorist, Mr. Raphael Ezeanna, told NAN that the removal of police checkpoints on the road would help in reducing traffic gridlock caused by policemen’s indiscriminate parking of vehicles while checking ‘documents’.
“The policemen will just park vehicles, claiming that they are checking vehicle particulars; whereas, they are always busy extorting money from motorists,” Ezeanna said.
Another motorist, Mrs. Ibiwunmi Adebiyi, said that traffic gridlock, usually caused by police checkpoints have disappeared, following the dismantling of roadblocks.
“I hope that the dismantling of the checkpoints will be a permanent thing, unlike other directives that died few weeks after they were made,” Adebiyi said.
A commercial bus driver, Mr. Abdulkareem Ajibade, said that the order to dismantle checkpoints by the police, was a relief because commercial drivers were the target of extortion by the police.
“I was very happy when I learnt of the order because commercial bus drivers feel the pain at checkpoints as they are arrested indiscriminately, “ Ajibade said.
However, a motorist, Mr. Joseph Okwudi, said that the dismantling of the checkpoints was an unwelcome development in view of the heightened security threats in the country.
Okwudi said that the dismantling of the checkpoints was an invitation to more criminal activities, and called for a return of the checkpoints under strict monitoring, to check against police extortion from motorists.