The Nigeria Immigration Service- NIS applicants disrupt traffic flow in Lagos under the disguise of a protest.

At about 3:00pm, a large number of applicants at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise which was scheduled to hold at the National Stadium Surulere Lagos, poured out on the main road due to  the cancellation of the exercise.

While some just milled around, some of them blocked the roads and were stopping passing cars (both private and public vehicles), demanding one thousand naira each from the drivers. According to them, the N1000 was the refund of their registration fee for the recruitment exercise. Since the exercise did not hold, they wanted their money back.

NIS applicants block roads in Lagos

Being Lagosians, everyone questioned the reason behind the absurd ‘toll fee’ the NIS applicants were trying to extort from them. Some drivers got into fights with them. A lot of people stuck in traffic due to all this silliness started yelling at the youths. Seeing that their bluff was about to be called off, and that the initial plan to extort money did not work, they extended the road block to the ground lane and stylishly turned their shameless extortion scheme into a protest/rally.

Initially only about ten NIS applicants blocked the road for money, soon enough others joined them in their shameful charade of a protest, singing songs of solidarity and inscribing ‘NIS PAY OUR MONEY‘ on plain sheets of A4 papers. It was clear that the so called rally was impromptu.

Meanwhile, hundreds of cars were stuck in a stand-still traffic under the scorching hot sun. Even the BRT lanes were not spared. Thousands of people, young and old, poured out on the road to trek to the nearest protest-free bus stops. Ironically, majority were members to this group.

What I find hard to understand is why they had to make a lot of citizens suffer because of their ‘protest’ over N1000. The road block started around 3pm, and by 5pm it was still on. Why weren’t the authorities sent over to manage the situation? Bus conductors and drivers saw this a way to also cheat passengers. They increased fares to five times the normal fare. For instance, Ojuelegba to Ojota increased from N150 to N1000, and later reduced to N500.

We find it quick and easy to blame the government for all the misfortunes of this country, but the problem lies with the people. From the educated but completely irresponsible youths who started a rally recklessly, to the bus drivers who saw this as a means to make more money at the expense of other people.

We have a long way to go in this country. God help Nigeria, God Bless Nigeria!