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Fear Grips Residents As Touts Operate Under Lagos Bridge

Posted by Samuel on Wed 23rd Aug, 2023 - tori.ng

Despite the efforts of the Lagos State Task Force, the spot popularly called Ikeja Under Bridge also serves as stalls for petty traders, especially in the evening.

 Touts

A sense of fear has taken hold among residents and those traveling by as the area beneath the bridge on Obafemi Awolowo Road in Ikeja, Lagos has transformed into a sanctuary for both criminals and individuals with mental health issues.

Despite the efforts of the Lagos State Task Force, the spot popularly called Ikeja Under Bridge also serves as stalls for petty traders, especially in the evening.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, launched a revolution in 2020 which restored sanity to the bridge but now, the situation has returned to how it was before the intervention.

During a visit to the bridge on Monday, our correspondent learnt that road users were always scared when passing by the bridge, especially at night because of the presence of fierce-looking louts who were always under the influence of hard drugs or alcohol.

It was further learnt that petty traders pay certain amounts of money to the miscreants so that they can allow them to sell their wares under the bridge.

A trader who identified herself as Omobolanle said the miscreants subjected unsuspecting passersby to sexual harassment at night, apart from dispossessing them of their valuables.

“It is usually risky here at night because I have seen a lot of bad things happening such as sexual harassment, and stealing of phones and wallets. It is very dangerous to be around the bridge at night and early in the morning,” Omobolanle said.

One of the louts seen under the bridge who identified himself as Sola said he resorted to passing the night there because of the high cost of rent.

“It is difficult to get money to rent an apartment in Lagos. Things are too expensive and some of us do not have the money to rent an apartment. We don’t have a choice but we hope one day we will have our own houses or have the money to rent an apartment,” he said.

Efforts to get the reaction of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, proved abortive as his phone rang out on Monday and messages sent were yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report.



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