Lagos – A youth group, Hengo Badagry Youth Association, has condemned the neglect of the Lagos- Badagry- Seme Expressway and the Owode-Apa- Asheri Road, which has degenerated to deep pits causing traffic gridlock, as well as avoidable accidents and deaths. The group noted that the roads have formed safe haven for armed robbers, black spots for extortions and harassment by security men.
The group, while addressing newsmen at the Suntan Beach Resort Garden, called on both the federal and state governments to fix the road to ease the stress people go through there.
Godonu Felix, leader of the group, also called for the removal of illegal checkpoints on the road, stating that there were over 80 checkpoints manned by the army, air force, navy, Nigeria Customs Service, police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Port Health and Nigeria Plant Quarantine Department, all doing virtually the same thing.
He alleged that the checkpoints are used to extort and harass innocent citizens, thereby impeding free flow of persons and legitimate goods, a trend that has killed Badagry’s economy and social life.
He said that the group has written several SOS letters to concerned authorities but has always received empty assurances and wondered why a peaceful and serene community of Badagry could be treated like a war zone by overzealous officers and men of aforementioned security organizations.
“The world is moving faster but Nigeria security apparatus are not following global best practices in discharging their duties. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Defence Staff, Inspector General of Police and Comptroller General of Customs amongst others to swing into actions and return normal life to Badagry and its environs.
“Our coconut and tourism businesses have been put on knees because of extortions of motorists by these “above the law´ security men and more annoying are the Immigration officials who had turned our people to foreigners in their own backyards, villagers going to farms or going about their legitimate businesses must part away with some cash before they could be allowed to move freely in and out of Badagry and adjoining villages,” he added.