There was pandemonium on Wednesday at the Warewa long bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as motorists abandoned their vehicles after robbers attacked them in a gridlock.
A motorist told PUNCH Metro on the telephone around 8.30pm that many people abandoned their vehicles and fled into the bush.
He said, “There is confusion on the bridge. Many of us are outside our cars. We suddenly heard that the robbers had attacked again and people started fleeing their vehicles. Some of the hoodlums were not armed with guns. We decided to get stones with which we would attack them. We are standing outside now, just in case of any attack.”
Another motorist, a woman identified only as Adebola, said the contractor handling the rehabilitation should remove the dividers to ease the traffic so that robbers would not take advantage of the gridlock to attack commuters.
She said, “The contractor should remove the dividers and ease the traffic. Those robbers are using the opportunity of the traffic to unleash mayhem on motorists. It should not be so.
“The hardship these dividers cause alone is enough reason to remove them. If there will be reconstruction at that end, it should be in the daytime. As soon as night comes, the contractor should not allow traffic to build up because the robbers take advantage of that.”
A police source attached to the Warewa Police Division, however, told one of our correspondents that the long bridge was “flooded with policemen,” adding that there was no robbery on the bridge.
He explained that the traffic on the road was caused by vehicles which broke down along the bridge.
He said, “The police have been patrolling that long bridge. There is no robbery. The problem is that many residents of Arepo and Warewa, who have nowhere to make a U-turn, are forced to join the traffic on the long bridge and that increases the number of vehicles on the bridge.”
A tricycle rider, Kola Jaiyeola, told one of our correspondents that a businessman was robbed of N3m and other valuables on Sunday.
He said, “The man was coming from Abuja when he was trapped in the traffic on Monday. He narrated how the robbers beat him up when he initially declined to part with his valuables. They stabbed him in the back and his shirt was torn. Eventually, he said the robbers collected N3m, two phones and a wristwatch from him. I was the one who gave him a lift to Ikeja.
“He said he had come for a business in Lagos. He was bleeding.”
The Ogun State acting Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, did not pick his calls as of press time.
He also had yet to reply to a text message sent to his phone.