Some stakeholders in Badagry on Thursday decried the multiple Police check points along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, alleging that the security personnel were using the avenue to extort motorists.
They said this during the Joint Weekly Peace and Security Meeting organised by the three Local Government Areas held at the Badagry Local Government Secretariat in Ajara, Badagry.
They decried the hardships most commuters and motorists were passing through as well as the high rate of extortion by the security personnel along the road.
Hon. Setonji David, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Badagry Constituency 2, said that no business could thrive in Badagry with the number of police check points on the road.
“While roadblocks are necessary, we will not ignore Badagrians who complain that government policies made to protect them have turned into oppressive conduct by those concerned.
“From the traveling experiences I had, it is only the Lagos-Badagry express road that has numerous checkpoints within short intervals, this is an abuse of road checkpoints.
“No business can thrive in Badagry with the number of police on the road, this is unbearable, we are under siege here,” he said.
David said that the security meeting was to tell the world what they were going through in Badagry, adding that they could no longer pretend that things were fine.
Also, Mr Solomon Bonu, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state appealed to the police command in the state that the road blocks should be reduced in the interest of peace.
Bonu noted that the increasing number of checkpoints had drastically affected tourists and tourism activities in Badagry.
“Mr Governor has good intentions to boost Badagry tourism potential when he appointed me and Mr Babatunde Mesewaku as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“But the police personnel on the road are causing stumbling blocks for tourists who often decry the number of checkpoints.
“I wonder what they are checking. The hardship they are causing is immeasurable. It is not just collapsing the businesses; it is wasting our time.
“Even the common man, and drivers are protesting every day because of checkpoints, the economy of Badagry is going down every day. Kindly look into it for a lasting solution,” Bonu said.
Similarly, Ibrahim Layode, member LSHA Constituency 1, charged the security agencies to do their jobs in such a way that they will not be detrimental to the residents.
Hon. Layode condemned the rude manners at which some officers talk to commuters and motorists on the road.
He alleged that some police officers were fond of creating barriers on public roads to enable easy stopover by road users, which he said was not proper.
Also speaking, Suru Avoseh, a member of Lagos State Civil Service Commission, said the Police were not always friendly on the expressway.
“I am from Erekiti, I personally have to challenge a police man who had his gun cocked and was harassing the people on the Mowo-Ikoga road.
“We are not against security, but restricting our people is what we are against.
“Police were our friends before, but now on the road, police are no longer our friends,” Mr Avoseh said.
Chief Tunde Giro, the representative of Akran of Badagry, disclosed that from Seme to Badagry there are no less than 13 police check points.
Responding, the Divisional Police Officer, Badagry Police Station, CSP Sunday Adeyeri, said his station had only two checkpoints situated at Iyafin, Badagry.
Mr. Adeyeri said that all other check points were not under his jurisdiction.
He, however, appealed to the public that necessary measures would be taken to moderate the situation.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other political stakeholders that attended the meeting include: Hon. Nuatin Genesis, the former Sole Administrator, Badagry West LCDA and Mr Moses Owolabani, a community leader.
Others are the representatives of the FRSC, the NURTW, Customs Service, Immigration Services and Nigerian Army.