The robbery situation in Lagos traffic is a plight we are sadly all too familiar with. It has escalated to menacing proportions these past few months. There hardly goes a day without someone complaining on social media about their fate at the hands of these criminal elements. More often than not, their modus operandi is executing these nefarious operations on motorcycles or masquerading as traffic vendors – to put unsuspecting victims in a false sense of normalcy – then dispossessing commuters of their valuables.
These robberies take place almost exclusively in traffic and on certain routes or roads in the metropolis. They include Gbadaga, Oshodi, Carter Bridge, Costain, Mile 2, Onikan-CMS and other traffic prone hotspots.
Here are some tips about how to avoid being robbed in Lagos traffic from Jekalo.
- Hide your valuables from view
Put your handbags and other valuables under your seat, in the glove box or must preferably, in your boot. Traffic robbers ‘hunt’ by sight, if they don’t see any valuables in sight, they will leave you alone and move on.
- Avoid hotspots if possible
If it is possible to avoid going through routes that are notorious for traffic robberies, take alternative routes.
- Be on the lookout
When in traffic, make adequate use of your mirrors. Watch out for suspicious characters, if you see anyone approaching your vehicle take the next opening in traffic and honk repeatedly as you do so. Chances are, they would leave you alone for fear of attracting policemen (policemen can now be seen at strategic locations in some of these hot spots).
- Use dummies
Try to carry an old phone in your car (most of us have smaller, inexpensive phones that we use. This could work too) and give this to the criminal rather than your own phone. Make sure to keep your phone is on silent under your seat. Criminals do not bother to check the condition of the phone as they are often in a hurry.
However, it seems that with the recent deployment of 3 helicopters, APCs, 165 vehicles, 2 gunboats and other law enforcement apparatus to the Nigerian Police Force by the Lagos State Government, incidents of traffic robberies will cease to be a daily occurrence. This should not make you less vigilant though, follow these tips and you would be much safer from traffic robbers. Stay safe! #LetsRideTogether