Wednesday, June 9, 2021 3:56 pm
By Nehru Odeh
The Lagos State Secretariat of the All Peoples Congress, APC, located on Acme road in Agidingbi, Ikeja and its environs seem quiet and peaceful. But that is a facade as the silence there is that of the graveyard and pregnant with uncertainty.
The Lagos State Police Command has for the past two weeks shut that road linking Agidingbi and Wempco Road in Lagos, an act which does not only prevent motorists and commuters access to it but has also been causing a huge gridlock around the Wempco Road and First Gate Bus Stop axis.
Reason: to prevent loss of lives and property as there are fears that aggrieved supporters of politicians who lost out in the just concluded shambolic local council elections are planning to cause violence and set the secretariat ablaze.
As a result of the barricades on opposite sides of the road, commuters are forced to trek a long distance before boarding another vehicle while motorists are left with no choice but make use of Wempco Road to link Agidingbi .This has indeed caused them untold hardship.
However, traders, motorists and commuters who do business on that road are groaning in pains, as they lament the untold hardship which the closure of that road has caused- and is still causing – them.
A motorist who spoke with TheNEWS on condition of anonymity said the closure of that road has caused him and others severe pains as they spend longer time on the road as a result of the gridlock and he has to take another route to access Agidingbi on a daily basis.
The driver of a tricycle popularly known as Keke Napep couldn’t supress his anger and frustrations as he lamented what he regarded as the over-zealousness of officers attached to the Lagos State Police Command.
“They have turned this place into another border,” he lamented. Look at the time we are wasting here looking for passengers. The state government never ordered them to block this road,” he added. “Before this road was blocked, it used to be one of the freest in Lagos but now it is no longer so.”
However, some traders who do businesses under canopies adjacent to the APC Secretariat spoke to TheNEWS with mixed feelings. While the closure has affected their businesses as they no longer have the kind of customers they used to have, they believe the closure is necessary for the sake of security.
“Na who dey alive de do business,” she said in Pidgin English. She also told TheNEWS that some thugs armed with machetes and dangerous weapons who were believed to have come from Agege area of Lagos came there yesterday to cause mayhem but they were repelled back by the police officers who had mounted the barricades there.
When P.M. NEWS reporter confronted the police officers barricading the road on why the popular road had been blocked for two weeks, one of them said the order was from the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu.
When contacted Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Lagos Police Command, Muyiwa Adejobi said the action the command had taken was for the good of the people and for security reason.
Still, when a reporter from TheNEWS tried to gain entrance into the premises of the Lagos State APC Secretariat in order to speak with some party officials, he was turned back by stern-looking security men on the grounds that they had been ordered never to allow anyone enter the Secretariat.