Chaos as multiple check points return to Lagos-Seme road

ABIOLA Seun

The proliferation of checkpoints along the Seme-Mile2 expressway, Lagos-Badagry road in Lagos State, appears to have heightened with a gradual return of more security agencies that did not have checkpoints on the route before now.

This followed the failure of the Nigerian port system to accommodate huge imports through the country’s waters, leading to diversion of cargoes to neighbouring countries.

It was gathered that officers and men of the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS and the Nigerian Army, now dot the land border road stretch of Lagos – Badagry Expressway.

According to investigation, from Agbara to Seme, NIS that is supposed to be stationed at the border only, now has about five checkpoints going to Seme and about seven on the return route.

The Police have about 10 on the way to Seme and about 15 on the return journey. The Army mounts its five checkpoints in the evenings on the return trip to Lagos at Odofa bus stop, Luri bus stop, Oko-Afo bus stop and two more between Badagry and Oko-Afo bus stop.

For Customs, there are no checkpoints from Agbara to Seme but on the return journey, there are three before the notorious Gbaji and another five before Agbara, making it eight, contrary to the three ordered by the Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd).

The checkpoints by the Customs are manned by different units of the Service; including the Seme border Command, Comptroller General’s strike force, Federal Operations Unit, FOU and others.

Gbaji checkpoint has become so notorious that motorists spend between 30 minutes to one hour to do less than five kilometre distance.

It was further gathered that both the police and immigration have Seme Commands and border patrols respectively at Seme.

All military and paramilitary agencies that were not present on the route before are now maintaining checkpoints on the route.

In addition, amongst agencies, there is the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), that collects N200 from each vehicle using a camp boy (civilian front) as collector.

The FRSC has two shifts, morning and evening and drivers must pay the fare or get held for refusing to play along.

There is also National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NAFDAC, Quarantine Service and some other uniformed agencies.

The Nigeria Civil Defence Corp is now positioning itself at the opposite side when going to Seme.

They were not on the route before now.

In addition to the governmental agencies another new development is the presence of large numbers of community youths mounting a checkpoint just before Gbaji where they also extort money from traders and motorists.

 

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