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Operation Crocodile Smile: Soldiers extort commercial motorists in Ogun

Nigerian-Army-

…Causes chaotic Traffic at Sango Toll gate

By Oluyinka Onigbinde

Investigations carried out by Nigerian NewsDirect have revealed that the lingering chaotic traffic situation on the Ajegunle/Toll gate axis of the Sango Ota Abeokuta Express way of Ogun State  is as a result of security Operatives engaged in traffic flow operation.

Operatives of the Nigerian Army who were sent to address the security challenges in Ogun and its environs, and help solve  the menace caused by  commercial motorists and miscreants, by ensuring free traffic flow on the expressway are now taking advantage of the situation to extort commercial motorists plying the route.

The arrival of Operation Crocodile Smile which initially brought joy to the faces of Ogun people, had taken a sour turn as soldiers compromised their allegiance by joining miscreants to extort commercial motorists daily thereby causing gridlock on the road.

This unfortunate scenario continues to add to the unfolding confusion as the resulting daily surge of motorists often lead to a complete lock-down of the expressway and all the adjoining roads in the area, thus creating terrifying experiences for other motorists and road users.

During the day period, miscreants collect money from commercial vehicles on their behalf while the soldier stops the vehicle while at night starting from 7pm, the soldiers collect money directly from commercial motorists.

Nigerian NewsDirect investigation revealed that these security men collect between N200 and N500 from the drivers depending on the size of the vehicle. Confirming the development, one of the drivers who spoke with our reporter on the condition of anonymity, said he and his colleagues had no choice but to pay the soldiers as that was their assured ticket to get to their destination, refusal to pay, he added, could only put them into trouble.

 Another motorist who simply addressed himself as Isiaka Yussuf said “initially when they came we were all happy because they were doing their work faithfully, because you will observe that during the first week all was going smoothly as they ensured free traffic movement via the road.

“Not until about two weeks ago when they started demanding money from us every night with the help of this miscreant, at times they collect N100 at times they increase the fee to N200. Even when you don’t have change and you give them N500 you dare not ask for change, so this is alarming because we don’t even know who to trust any longer”.

 Some other drivers, who spoke with Nigerian NewsDirect, claimed that the collection had worsened illegal multiple taxes that made them to increase transport fare. Security experts who spoke with Nigerian NewsDirect on the condition anonymity believed that this latest trend among the soldiers portends great danger on nation’s security as many of these miscreants and soldiers may resolve to steal when all eyes are asleep.

They thereby called on The Brigade Commander of the 35 Artillery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta, Basil Adoke to caution his men against shameful act that could lead to chaos and public anger.

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