Panic, Traffic Gridlock Over Boko Haram Scare On Lagos-Ibadan ExpresswayFeatured, Latest News Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
Rumour of Boko Haram’s invasion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Wednesday led to panic and traffic gridlock on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as motorists and travelers coming to Lagos were held on traffic for over three hours on the Long Bridge leading to Berger.
The message was also circulated widely on the social media, Facebook. Soldiers, officers of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, Policemen from Ogun, Oyo and Lagos States, members of the Joint Task Force, JTK in their large number have been combing everywhere on the road in search of Boko Haram.
JTF officers, Department of Security Service, DSS, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and several security personnel were also deployed to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to provide security.
The police also deployed aerial chopper to search for suspected Boko Haram members. They carried out searches and surveillance in different ways. JTF officers are also currently manning the Ogere end where another rumour had it that 20 policemen were killed there.
On the long bridge leading to Lagos this afternoon, travelers and motorists groaned as mobile policemen were stationed at the Berger end of the bridge caused heavy traffic gridlock as passengers and motorists spend over three hours to navigate the long bridge.
A motorist trapped on the long bridge, Prince Seyi Akintoye said he spent over three hours to navigate through the bridge alone policemen stationed at the Berger end of the bridge caused serious traffic gridlock.
He lamented that the situation was uncalled for as the policemen just stood on the Berger end of the bridge doing nothing but to obstruct traffic on the rumour of Boko Haram invasion, saying that other passengers and motorists were groaning in pains over the traffic gridlock.
When the panic broke early this morning, Mr. Ese Okogie was very anxious as his wife travelled on the expressway as he made frantic calls to her phone to see if she was safe.
People who have loved ones expected to travel on the expressway have made frantic calls to them to abort their journey as the expressway was no longer safe.
Spokesperson, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye stated that the agency received a false alarm on Boko Haram’s presence on the expressway, but noted that after the police and military personnel had combed the nooks and crannies of the expressway, it was discovered it was just a rumour.
“The rumour has it that nine policemen and 11 civilians had been killed by Boko Haram on the expressway. After the police and soldiers combed the expressway, nothing was discovered, making the whole episode a rumour.
“This is to inform the general public that NEMA received false alert about a purported Boko Haram attack along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as complete lies and unfounded. Security agencies have combed all routes and beyond without any trace of such incidents.
“Mischief makers broadcasting this evil machination are strongly warned to desist from circulating unfounded messages in the country. The public should disregard and discourage further circulation of such inciting messages against the nation,” he stated.
Commander, RRS, Hakeem Odumosu described the alarm as a rumour, saying that nothing like that ever occurred on the expressway, adding that what happened was that some people were caught coming to Lagos with Indian Hemp and were arrested by the police, while urging the public to disregard the rumour of attack by Boko Haram on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide denounced the purported attack, saying it was all a rumour, emphasizing that there was nothing like Boko Haram attack on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
She said what happened was that a trailer conveying wheat to Lagos around Idiwo area on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway fell with all the content on the expressway and that area boys came to foment trouble and that the police was able to quell issue.
But the police explanation does not seem to go down well with the public as military men and policemen were still stationed on the expressway as at Wednesday evening.
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