6 ways to protect yourself from Nigerian traffic robbers


Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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Nigerian traffic robbery is common. Many people have been seriously injured and even killed in the process. Find out how to behave if you ever find yourself in such a situation.

If you have never been robbed in Nigerian traffic, especially in such place as Lagos, you probably know someone who has been robbed or heard stories about it. It might seem farfetched that robbers could attack in broad day light, let alone in traffic, but it happens often in Lagos.

This wouldn’t come as a surprise to people who live in Lagos or are conversant with the city. It’s a very bustling place where a lot of things happen. The commercial hub of Nigeria, everyone is all about the hustle. While some are working hard to earn a legitimate living, others are looking for devious ways to do that. And robbing is one of the illegitimate ways some people take to.


Always stay alert to avoid these guys!

Life in Lagos and in Nigerian cities is a survival of the fittest. As you go about driving your car, you have to be on the alert for robbers. They could steal your valuables and hurt you in the process if you aren’t careful.

Naijauto.com has put together this article to give you heads-up so you wouldn’t be a victim like many others. Check below for 6 tips to handle traffic robbers in Nigeria!

1. Keep your cool

The first thing an attacker does to its victim is to shake him/her up. They do this by either showing you a weapon or coming at you. If your windscreen is wined up, they might break it. This act alone could scare the hell out of you, making you to lose total control.

Don’t give them the satisfaction. Remain calm. Chances of people coming to your rescue if you shout for help are slim. In Lagos, people like to mind their business because no on is to be trusted. When you are calm, the degree of violence will be reduced.

2. Don’t fight back

Some people, especially men, may want to fight back. No one likes to be taken advantage of. Fighting back might seem like the brave thing to do. But you have to consider your safety. You have no idea what kinds of weapons they have. If you fight back, they might get upset and inflict serious harm on you. Unless you have a well-planned self-defense technique, don’t throw a punch.


Don't ever think you can fight back! Retreat, I repeat!

>>> Please, jungle justice must be eliminated!  Angry mob sets suspected traffic robber on fire in Lagos

3. Look away from their eyes

Looking robbers directly in the eye during any form of attack is not safe. Many people have been reported to have lost their lives because they maintained eye contact with their attacker. They might get the impression that you are trying to take note of their face, so you can recognize them later.

Look downwards as they talk to you. If they ask you any questions, answer them with a “Sir” or “Oga” attached to it. Most people who attack others suffer from low self-esteem. This show of respect from you could make them go easy on you.

4. Do as you are told

The moment they attack you, let them know that you are willing to cooperate with them. Robbers go crazy when they notice that their victim is trying to be stubborn. Do exactly as you are told. Traffic robbers are out to steal from you. When they get what they are looking for, they’ll leave you alone. Standing up to them in any way could make them hurt you or even kill you. Let them take whatever they want; you can always get another one.

5. Speak in simple language

The average robber isn’t educated. He/she cannot speak good English. A typical robber who would attack you in Lagos traffic speaks either or both of these languages: Yoruba and/or Pidgin. The best thing to do is to communicate in the language the robber speaks. If he/she speaks Yoruba, answer them in Yoruba if you speak the language. If you don’t, speak Pidgin.

Speaking clean English might seem like you are trying to show off. Such people already feel cheated by the society. Your polished grammar could make them take out their frustration on you.

Don’t answer questions you weren’t asked. It’s a question and answer segment. When they ask a question, you answer the exact same question.


Most street robbers are low-educated & hate those showing off their clean English.

6. Don’t undermine the robber

People have lost their lives because they undermined robbers. Bravery is a good thing, but you shouldn’t throw caution to the wind. Sometimes, you just have to simmer down.

Follow the robber’s instructions to the latter. Don’t assume that they don’t have a strong weapon just because you can’t see one. Remember that the main aim of an average robber is to steal something from you and not to harm you, let them have what they want.

Despite security measures put in place by the government, traffic robbery is still happening in Lagos. Ensure that you wine up all your windscreens while in traffic. Don’t buy anything. Some robbers front as hawkers, and attack people who try to patronize them.

>>> You can find more information on safe driving here on Naijauto.com.

Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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