Regular traveler gives S’Easterners’ tips on how to navigate 60 checkpoints
…As Senate calls on IGP to reduce checkpoints on eastern roads
More public and private reactions have continued to emerge following recent revelation after a painstaking study of the unprecedented number (60) of armed men checkpoints between Lagos and Onitsha by road.
Though the Senate had called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to reduce the number of checkpoints’ facing South Easterners traveling home, a report revealed that between Lagos and Katsina, only 10 checkpoints are seen at random.
Recall that veteran journalist, Mr Tony Onyima recently carried out an investigation on the number of checkpoints manned by Police, Customs, Army, DSS, and other paramilitary agencies along the federal highway from Lagos to Eastern Nigeria and came out with a verdict showing that 60 checkpoints are currently suffered by South Easterners travelling to their home towns from Lagos.
However, a regular traveler on the same road (name with held), has given tips on how to limit chances of time wasting and violent interactions with security operatives at the said checkpoints’.
He said “If you are traveling to the Eastern states from Lagos for this Christmas, hereunder are important advice for you for safe journey.
According to him, “It’s a horrible nightmare travelling from Lagos to Onitsha by road. It’s even worse if you are using your personal vehicle. God help you if your vehicle is anything better than a Toyota Corolla e.g. Camry’s, Hondas and Oh my God an SUV that looks fresh.
He added that “If you leave Lagos for Onitsha by 6am, the earliest you should expect to be there is 8pm. Here are the things you need to be able to finish your trip in one piece and with your vehicle:
- A large dose of PATIENCE and TOLERANCE. No frowning, ABSOLUTELY NO BIG GRAMMAR.
- Vehicle Customs Documents. Ensure that Custom duty was paid on your vehicle.
- Current and Valid vehicle Registration Papers and Valid driver’s license. Just make before you leave home that you personally check these documents. Ensure that the VIN/Chassis numbers , engine numbers on the documents match what you have stamped in the vehicle.
- Vehicle CMR, Road Worthiness Certificate. Make sure what you are carrying is not fake. Confirm before leaving Lagos.
- Tinted Glass Permit. Make sure it is from source and has your photograph or your driver’s photograph on it.
- Speed limiting device. This must be installed on all SUVs, Pickups and Sports Cars just as is done in public buses.
- Fire extinguisher – right size and not expired, C – Caution. First Aid Kit, Good Spare tyre, Jack and Wheel Spanner, Waste basket ,Valid Local Government Stickers for Pickups.
- Do not carry any bag of RICE please unless you have a receipt from an Abakaliki rice farm.
- If you are just coming in from ‘ABROAD’ I beg you in the name of all that is PRECIOUS to you – No ‘Forming’. Hide your dollars, Sterling and Euros. Never show anyone your foreign Passport or Driver’s License as a means of identification. Just show your Nigerian Passport on demand. Trust me you won’t need to do that if you just ‘fit in’.
- Be prepared for Edo SARS Operatives on the way; please make sure you don’t have any account balance in your phone.
- Go back to 1. Be nice to them. Give them that Air Hostess Plastic Smile and Yes ‘Dash dem something’ for being on the road and protecting all you ‘Omo Ibos’ from all manner of herdsmen.
The regular traveler begged Christmas travelers by road from Lagos to Onitsha, who are using their private cars to “Ensure that you Carry A Lot of N100 and N200 notes necessary emergencies”.
“Finally if this is too much for you to handle, simply apply and pay for Armed Mobile Police Escort or just stay where you are now if you cannot struggle to get flight opportunity.
He ended up his technical advice by saying “Am not joking because am a regular traveler, an eye witness and victim in several occasions!!