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2, 500 Policemen Provided Security At Access Bank Lagos City Marathon

The Access Bank Lagos City Marathon on Saturday witnessed the presence of a large number of security personnel at the race’s route, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Correspondents of NAN, who monitored the race, report that as early as 5.30 a.m., officials of the Police, Military and Civil Defence Corps and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) had lined the route.
They provided security as well as ensured free-flow of traffic and helped to guide the athletes.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Lagos State Command, Olasimihan Adeoye, told NAN that 2,500 officers and men were drafted for the marathon.
Adeoye said there was no issue as all areas were well policed.
The Chairman of LASTMA, Retired AIG Chris Olakpe, also said that 400 officials were deployed for the exercise.
All efforts to get the number of personnel from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps proved abortive as the men around were not willing to offer such information.
The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, who was also present at the race venue, enjoined the athletes to participate according to the rules.
Meanwhile, commuters witnessed heavy traffic as a result of the closure of some link roads to the route used for the marathon.
Some who could not stand the gridlock had to trek some metres to avoid delay, while others waited in the gridlocks.
NAN reports that commuters toiled to and from the express road looking for vehicles but to no avail as only the motorcyclists were available.
The commuters, who spoke about the marathon and how it impacted those who are not participating, said it became fun when they trekked long distances to get commercial vehicles.
They noted that it served as exercise for their bodies.
A trader, Oladipo Falade, said that it was fun for him because he had not done any form of exercise in recent time, adding that it was one avenue for him to walk a long distance.
“I think I like this walk though I didn’t plan to walk like this with my load.
“I have not done this in a long time and I feel I should just follow the crowd and walk down to my business area,’’ he said.
Adetoro Akala, another trader, said that he enjoyed taking long walks and was happy trekking to his place of work.
“For me it is fun, I wish I had participated in the race but unfortunately, I have to sell my goods today,’’ he said.
A student, Chika Obi, lamented the trekking but said she did it because she had no choice.
“I do not like this type of walk that I got myself into, left to me, I would have entered a bus but there is none.
“I have no choice but to trek with this multitude,’’ she said.
Vera Odine, another student, said that she wished she had joined the race but for school work, adding that she loved the trek.
“Exercise is important to me though I wish I had joined the race not for anything but for the fact that I will exercise,’’ she said.
The race which took off at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos had over 20,000 registered participants racing through the suburbs of Lagos to Eko Atlantic City. (NAN)

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