From manholes with fear: A highway’s cash, phone snatching scoundrels

A pedestrian walks past a manhole at Charity bus stop, along Oshodi-Isolo expressway PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE

A pedestrian walks past a manhole at Charity bus stop, along Oshodi-Isolo expressway PHOTO: PAUL ADUNWOKE

Passerby at Toyota Bus Stop and further down to Charity Bus Stop along the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway must be wary of the many manholes that dot the road. To be otherwise is to risk having their bags and other possessions snatched by men of the ‘under’-world. We mean real underworld!

It’s like this: you are walking, perhaps casually, unmindful any danger might be lurking. You might even be alone waiting for a bus ride to some parts of the city. Suddenly, a man emerges from a manhole (underworld) behind or beside you. And before you can say, ‘Kilonshele’, he forcefully dispossesses you of you phone and purse. Besides, a night’s walk under the bridge at Toyota Bus Stop is one thing you don’t want to do.

Once bitten, Mrs. Kafayat Olubunmi has learned to be cautious. “As I walked along the road, six men appeared from nowhere and attacked me. They took my handbag, my phones and the N36,000 I wanted to use to pay my children’s school fees. There are several dark spots and manholes on the road where these hoodlums hide and smoke Indian hemp. The police really need to comb these places,” she said.

Another victim, Yusuf Ola, revealed: “Last week, they robbed me and all my valuables were stolen.” Also, a trader, Rita Ugo, added her voice: “They rob people on their way to work very early in the morning. Only last week, they robbed one of my neighbours as she went home. They made away with N50,000 and other valuables. These bandits carry out these operations seamlessly and we suspect that security operatives are complicit. We want the police to come to our aid urgently. They should comb dark spots on the road where the miscreants hide and unleash terror on the rest of us. If there are streetlights on the road, the miscreant will not have a hiding place.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, meanwhile, has admonished residents of the state to alert the police of crime in their neighbourhoods.

Owoseni said: “We have launched a police application for smart phones. We have hot lines, which are in the public domain, and we have telephones at every police station where the public can reach us at any time of the day or night. There is usually a police team at every point in the state and crime could be combated quickly if the police get information instantly.”

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