Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)
Residents of Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun state have lamented how security agencies have been extorting, harassing, and tormenting them on the roads.
The residents also alleged that number of different security agents on the roads have continuously been harassing them and made life hard for them while they they were carrying out their primary assignment.
Speaking with PLATFORM TIMES exclusively, a resident of Imeko town, Pastor Ogunrinde disclosed that the security agents violate residents’ civil rights, adding that they extort, harass, and torture law-abiding citizens.
Ogunrinde said, “People of the area are under frequent harassment, extortion, and torture of security agents. You can’t travel five minutes without security interruption which delays you and violates all your rights as law-abiding citizens.”
Speaking about over militarisation in the local government area, Ogunrinde said, “there are 10 customs roadblocks between Abeokuta and Ilara frontiers ; plus innumerable checking points mounted by patrol teams.
“More than 20 Police roadblocks and countless temporary patrol checking points.
“There are about six Immigration checkpoints and six Military roadblocks (now getting reduced). For the NDLEA checkpoints, there are Quarantine road blocks with Local vigilantes and private security outfits are also not left out.
Ogunrinde who lamented over militarisation and extortion by the security agents said the residents are bearing the brunt as they are left with little or no profit.
He said “Extortion by these security agents makes commercial endeavours of the rural dwellers almost unprofitable. Collateral damages are dawn to the economic life Of the people.”
Ogunrinde upheld that despite the innumerable security agents, armed robbery and kidnapping persisted.
He said, “Despite all these, armed robbery and kidnapping occur freely on the road.”
Another resident, Ayanmo Adekanbi, lamented how security agencies made business unprofitable for the residents.
Adekanbi said, “the security checking points are in excess. There are about 10 to15 checkpoints from Ilara to Imeko. That is too much. These people are tormenting the residents.
“Lately, the soldier troubled us a lot. There is nothing we transport from anywhere to Imeko that these security agents won’t extort us.
“In fact when we buy soft drinks from Abeokuta down to Imeko, they collect money from us at every checkpoint. Is Abeokuta in another country? At the end of the day, we will be left with little to no profit.
“These people are tormenting us here. They are making life unbearable for us. They are terrorists in disguise.
“A law-abiding citizen can no longer do his or her business without the fear of the business running down with what these people do to them on the road.
“They are not protecting us, rather they are extorting us and ruining our businesses.”
Reacting to the allegation the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Controller, Compt. Bamidele Makinde disclosed that he has got the report of all that is happening on the roads in the border communities.
He, however, assured that necessary actions are ongoing to curb the menace.
He said “I got report on what is happening on that road and I have begun work on the issue.
“I’ve taken it up on my own after the border has been reopened to intimate the management of the sufferings of the people in the area.”
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