Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria is known to have a large number of motorable roads with many traffic lights to control the movement of motorists at every intersection and crossings.
However, the robbers in Abuja has devised a new way of dispossessing road users of their valuables. Traffic lights are now their robbing spot. The robbers are now cashing in on the many traffic lights seen at every turn to carry out their criminal activities, most especially at night.
Abuja motorists can no longer put up with this ugly trend.
A victim, Segun Ariyo, was robbed in Maitama traffic intersection as he was waiting for the traffic light to indicate green. He gave a note of warning after the incident.
Segun is not the only victim of these traffic robbers
See what he said,
When next you are at a traffic light intersection, you might want to be careful.
Other motorists who have been robbed said the robbers trail people either from the office or bank to the traffic holdup where they try using objects laced with nails to rupture their car tyres or Rob them straight.
Another victim with the name Mrs. Asabe recounted her own experience with these traffic robbers. She was robbed close to Mississippi junction in the presence of a traffic warden.
She narrated her experience here,
I got to that traffic light, and as we were waiting for the green light to come up, one young man tapped at my window, pointed at my tire, and beckoned on me to wind down my glass. As I did to hear him clearer, he immediately opened my car from inside and jumped in. He then brought out a gun and commanded me to open the back door for his colleagues to enter or I lose my life, I opened the door for his colleagues to enter out of fear of being shot. They took my handbag, handsets, cash and all the jewelries I wore.
According to her, the robber came down from her car when he saw the green light was about turning on and jumped into a motorcycle already waiting for him and zoomed off. On reaching the traffic warden, he told her he hadn't seen any robber.
Our capital collects the best of the country, but also attracts notorious robbers
A lot of Abuja residents attributed the rise in traffic robbery to the multiple traffic lights at every intersection in Abuja. However, another resident by the name John Omole thinks it's as a result of the motorcycles yet to be banned.
I have seen robbers snatch phones from motorists waiting to obey the traffic lights, and most places where you sight the police officers immediately they leave there robbers take over.
Omole who has been driving through the Jabi-Airport diversion to Kabusa junction for the past one year has been an eyewitness to many robbery attacks by these gangsters on passengers. And they come out for operation around 7 pm to 10 pm, with different methods of robbing passengers of their possession.
Omole said this as well,
It is either they operate from the tricycle or stay by the roadside and descend on passengers whenever the tricycle slowed down at speed breakers on the road or waiting in the bush to attack.
The traffic robbery trend has gotten so bad that motorists pre-warns their fellows on the danger before they hit the road, to be certain their mobile phones and other possessions are safely guided. They are being cautioned to hold tight to them before they leave home or their office.
A civil servant by name Hassan told Abuja Review that a tricycle operator at one point had been accused of joining forces with these robbers. The tricycle operator ended up paying the sum of N40,000 to a woman who was robbed as compensation.
Next time you travel in Abuja, pay double attention to traffic lights!
It has been noticed that Jabi-Airport diversion to Galadimawa roundabout has just a few street lights. They are placed in the National Judicial Institute (NJI) and extending to the Dantata Bridge. The roads there are bushy and dark which is hiding placing to pounce on their victims.
The road is used to get to some important locations in Abuja. Not only does the road connect road users coming towards the airport and going to other areas in the city, but the industrial district is also situated there along the road. Government institutions also situated on the road include the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), National Judicial Institute, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), and Federal Staff Hospital. Private institutions that can be connected through the road are Julius Berger Yard, Nile University, CITTEC estate and kings court estate.
Hassan went further to say public car drivers always stop their passengers on the bushy parts on purpose.
See his comments.
They pay in high denomination notes and when the rider is trying to get their change, they snatch phone, handbag or any valuable and escape into the bush.
They attack motorists too. I have seen one of the criminals wrestle a car owner. Not that he wanted to snatch the car but the phone the driver was holding. The driver wound up the glass and the thief had to run away.
Such incident are regular at hospital junction, Sun City and before Lokogoma Junction,” he said, adding that the tricycle operators can only pray that the situation would change for the better. Nothing is beyond God; when you pray to God any problem can be solved.
There were efforts made to get DSP Anjuguri Manzah, the FCT police command to react to the ongoing situation but it was futile.
Be careful whenever you are in Abuja traffic