Motorists and commuters plying the Benin-Sagamu Expressway have expressed concern over the safety of their lives and property.
They told newsmen on Friday that the highway, particularly the bad spots near Ore and Ofosu/Ohosu towns, had become the den of armed robbers and kidnappers.
It was gathered that some regular travellers on the major highway had started making use of alternative routes while others who were buoyant enough, now travelled by air.
The most disturbing phenomenon, according to some of the travellers, was the alarming rate at which the hoodlums carry out their dangerous activities in broad daylight, with no security agent to rescue their victims.
Investigations revealed that many travellers had been killed by the armed bandits, while many had been kidnapped on the expressway, especially at the Ore and Ofosu end of the road.
A commercial bus driver, Adeyemi Adewara, told one of our correspondents in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Friday that his Lagos-bound passengers now preferred to go through the Ilesa-Ibadan route to Lagos, which is longer.
Mr. Paul Chukwuma , a Benin-based businessman, said he had been travelling to Lagos by air since the law enforcement agents failed to provide solution to the menace.
He said, “I can’t put my life at risk. The Shagamu-Ore-Benin Expressway is very dangerous to ply these days. That is why I travel by air which is very expensive.”
A driver with an Akure-based transport company, Sunday Akindiji, said he had convinced his employers on the need to make use of alternative routes to Lagos.
The Commissioner for Information in Ondo State, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had been meeting regularly with security chiefs in the state on the issue.
Olowolabi said, “The security agencies in the state are doing their best and many of these hoodlums are being arrested on daily basis.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Femi Joseph, said, “We have our men on patrol on the road and they are doing well. We always arrest the hoodlums and we won’t relent. Ondo State is not safe for criminals”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command dismissed reports of alleged attacks on travellers and motorists by suspected Fulani herdsmen on the Benin-Ore-Lagos expressway.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Kokumo, said, “The report being circulated on social media about the attack on motorists on the expressway, is complete falsehood.”