Residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have called on the inspector general of Police to look into the continued roadblocks and checkpoints mounted by policemen across the state.
They complained about the many roadblocks, especially in Ibadan metropolis.
They quoted the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 11, Dan Bature, who on his recent two-day official visit to the state, said it was illegal for any policeman to mount roadblocks or ask for vehicle particulars.
A commercial driver, Dada Akinruntan, said it was disturbing that policemen are still demanding money from motorists and motorcyclists, that it is shocking at the growing number of checkpoints and roadblocks, despite the AIG’s directive.
“We are tired of this. Everywhere you go you will see many checkpoints, with policemen harassing road users and forcing them to give out money. I understand that the AIG gave them a clear directive that checkpoints and checking of vehicle particulars should be dismantled because they are illegal. We were shocked that shortly after he gave the order, the number of checkpoints and roadblocks grew. We are calling on the AIG to intervene and let the people have comfort.”
Another driver, who gave his name as Michael, condemned the action of the policemen and called on police authorities to dismantle roadblocks in the country. He pointed out that the AIG spoke the minds of the people when he said roadblocks and checkpoints were illegal.
In his reaction to the issue, however, police spokesman Adekunle Ajisebutu said the AIG was misunderstood.
The command Public Relations Officer said what the AIG meant was that theSafer Highway Patrol unit of the Nigerian Police Force had a specific duty to provide security on highways and that the AIG never said there should be no checkpoints.
According to Ajisebutu :
“The AIG only restated the position of the force that there should be no roadblocks across the country. However, stop-and-search or vehicle patrol as a proactive measure to curb crime is legal and is allowed.
“The AIG has been grossly misunderstood. What he meant was that safer highway patrol had a specific duty among others to provide security to commuters on highways.”