Lagos is a state located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is the smallest in terms of area of all the 36 states in the country. The actual population total has been a source of dispute as the figures gotten from the official Nigerian Census of 2006, did not tally with the much higher figure claimed by the Lagos State Government. Lagos State is arguably the most economically important state in the country, containing the nation’s largest urban area and because of heightened economic activities, it attracts all kinds of persons from all parts of the country and the world at large. While some come for business and others for trade, some others come for crime. Lagos today, ranks high as one of the states with the highest crime rates in the country, according to a survey by the Cleen Foundation, a non-partisan public policy organization.
And although, the incidence of crime has reduced in the past years due to the ban of motorcycles from major routes in the city, some areas, especially bus stations are still considered dangerous. Bus stations by definition and purpose, are places where people disembark from and board commercial vehicles to various destinations. They could also be meeting points for strangers. But due to the increased trading activities that go on in these bus stations, especially the sale of local gin and other alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, crime at bus stations has become the order of the day. Most of the crimes are committed at these bus stations in the early or late hours of the day. As a resident or visitor, you do not want to find yourself in these bus stations at night or early in the morning. We have identified some of the notorious bus stations to include:
Church Bus Station: Hidden haven of urchins
This bus station located before Agboju on Mile 2 – Badagry Expressway may be small but it boasts of deadly feats. Hoodlums lie in wait in the small bush beside the road to Badagry axis from Mile 2 to rob strangers who are not familiar with what happens there especially in the early hours of the morning and at night. However, Church bus stop is so notorious that only stubborn people fall victim to the armed thieves. You hardly know there is a bus stop there because unlike other bus stops, there are no petty businesses at Church bus stop.
Leventis Bus Station: Okada robbers once ruled
Leventis is the first bus stop as you enter the Lagos Island. There are criminal elements that attack and dispossess people of their valuables early in the morning at the bus stop.
Berger Bus Station: Danger on long bridge
This particular bus station is widely known for high criminal rate, investigations revealed that the unscrupulous elements operate mainly at the Ojodu-Berger bridge, specifically at Kara, a point after the bridge. The victims of these hoodlums are mostly hapless motorists whose vehicles break down on the bridge.
First Gate Junction, Agidingbi: Hard core robbery point
Anyone going to Agidingbi in Ikeja from Berger will pass through a spot called First Gate junction. This is not a bus stop per se, but it has become a black spot where criminals attack people and dispossess them of their valuables without help from the security agents. Armed robbers always trail their targets to this point before they strike.
Mile 2 Oke: Hammers, knives, guns are used to rob motorists in traffic jams
Another notorious spot, it is greatly feared by Lagos residents. Before the ongoing construction of Lagos Light Rail Project, Mile 2 located under the bridge on Badagry Expressway used to be the most dreaded point in the area for thieves, but with the construction work ongoing, Mile 2 under bridge has become a haven for the hoodlums who previously fled the zone due to exposure of all the dark spots where they previously wait to carry out their attacks. They use hammer, knives or gun to dispossess their victims of their valuables. Usually, they target men and women in posh cars stuck in traffic jam.
It was revealed that late in the evening, they station themselves at strategic locations and monitor their targets. They could tell who is a stranger or stranded and trail them until they get to a vantage position, where they snatch their targets’ handbags, phone, necklace, wristwatch or anything, and zoom off. The victim would normally scream but because the criminals know the routes so well they disappear without a trace.
Boundary Bus Station in Ajegunle: One million boys’ gang territory
Investigation has shown that new breeze of freedom has swept through the hitherto notorious Boundary bus-stop following the recent clampdown by security agents on the One million boys’ gang of robbers in the area. Before the security agents came to the rescue, Boundary was a theatre of all manner of criminal activities ranging from handbag and jewellery snatching to sundry crimes. But with the recent onslaught by the security agents, the hoodlums have disappeared from the vicinity and Boundary bus stop is relatively free from the crimes it was hitherto associated with. Investigations revealed that when the bad boys were on top of the game, they would come in broad daylight and create artificial confusion, and while people ran helter-skelter, they would snatch phones, handbags, money, jewelleries and whatever valuable they could lay hands on, and escape with their loot.
School Bus Station: Small axes, jack knives weapons of choice
Located at School junction along Mba-Mile 2 road in Ajegunle, School bus stop is very dangerous. Hoodlums always attack people at the bus stop at night and early in the morning. They hang around the area during the day smoking marijuana and drinking gin but at night, they resort to what they know how best to do. They are always armed with small axe, jackknife, and other deadly weapons, that they freely use on ‘stubborn’ victims.
Estate Bus Station: Here there’s no night or day
Bamboo is a dangerous spot along Oworonsoki – Ibadan Expressway, about 100 metres from Alapere Housing Estate Bus stop. Investigation revealed that criminals from the hideout always attack early morning commuters at the Estate bus stop and escape to their base. Their modus operandi is to mount roadblock at night between the bus stop and Oworonsoki and pose as policemen on stop-and-search night operation. They would wave down their target to a stop with a torchlight and reveal their true identity. Checks showed that trekking from the bus stop to Oworonsoki, which is a distance of about 300 metres in the afternoon is as dangerous as attempting the same feat at night because for the hoodlums at Bamboo, there is no difference between day and night as long as it is within that black spot.
Abulosu Bus Station: Drivers collude with roughnecks here
This is a bus stop immediately after the Trade Fair complex, under the Bridge along Mile 2 Badagry – Expressway. The bad boys operate on the same right side of the road to Badagry from Mile 2, just as they do at Agric bus stop. The place is usually deserted in the evening because people don’t live around there. So, as soon as darkness sets in and early in the morning, they would unleash terror on commuters. Investigations revealed that some transporters collude with the roughnecks at Abulosu.
Ijora Bus Station: One chance, gang rape…
The name, Ijora sends jitters down the spines of most Lagosians due to the kind of crimes committed there. Ijora bus stop is home to a potpourri of criminal activities ranging from ‘one chance’ to gang rape, and they occur regularly. The boys usually hang around, smoking and drinking alcohol. Late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, their ugly business booms. Any unfortunate female who probably didn’t know much about the place could be gang-raped and dispossessed of her valuables. But the story is a little different now because of former Governor Raji Fashola’s Tree Planting Campaign there. The place has been cleared of the bad boys and made difficult for evil business.
Also, flowers have been planted in the spot and police surveillance mounted at different points. Checks revealed that the hoodlums have relocated to their base at Ijora Badia along the railway from where they usually came to attack their targets. Thus, shifting the heat to the railways, at least for now.
Agric Bus Station: Arms buried, exhumed for operations here
Findings have shown that Agric bus stop, located between Barracks and Volks bus stops along Mile 2-Badagry Expressway is one of the most dangerous bus stops in Lagos at present. It was gathered that criminal activities at the bus stop take place only on the right side of the road as one goes to Badagry from Mile 2 because it is always lonely. The criminals carry out their dastardly acts any time of the day but it is more at night and early in the morning. Sources revealed that the boys bury their arms there and exhume them for their operations. It was gathered that once there is a traffic gridlock at that point, they would rob motorists. Checks revealed that the hoodlums created most of the potholes on that portion of the expressway, to force drivers to slow down. It was also gathered that they burrowed an opening on the wall of the Ojo Military Cantonment through which they often escaped until it was blocked on the orders of military authorities.
It was also revealed that the hoodlums sometimes, throw rims or tyres on the expressway to stop oncoming vehicles. They would immediately close in on the driver if he stops but if he knows what is happening at the spot, he would do everything possible to manoeuvre his way and escape to safety.
Cassidy Bus Station: Students cultists in charge
Cassidy is a bus stop before Okokomaiko and is also along Mile 2-Badagry Expressway. Like most other bad bus tops, the hoodlums operate at night and very early in the morning. However, investigation revealed that most of the hoodlums at the bus stop are student cultists of the Eye confraternity. A source alleged that most of them are students from the nearby institutions who carry out the evil acts whenever they run out of cash.
Apongbon Bus Station: Hotbed of one-chance buses
Apongbon is an ever-busy exit route from the Lagos Island with both heavy vehicular and human traffic as from 3pm virtually every day. This is because most businessmen and women and other workers on the Island converge there to board vehicles to different areas on the mainland.
Apart from pickpocket that is a regular feature at the bus stop especially in the evening and at night, it is also a hotbed of ‘One chance’ bus operators. Pretending to be real transporters, they would pick unsuspecting passengers from the spot and rob them of their valuables when they get to a lonely spot.
Other very dangerous bus stations in Lagos include:
Abule-osu Bus Station, along Mile 2 – Badagry Expressway
Bolade Bus Station, Oshodi
Okokomaiko Bus Station
Iyana Iba Bus Station
Ajah Bus Station
Agboju Bus Station, along Badagry Expressway
Abule Egba Traffic Light
Oshodi Oke Bridge
Costain under Bridge
Have you had any of the experience above? Are there anymore dangerous bus stops Lagosians should know about. Give your feedback in the comments section below.