Lagos State Government has issued a stern warning to traffic offenders attacking men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) on duty. Henceforth, the Government said it would not treat violent attacks on State’s law enforcers with kid glove, saying anyone who attacks security and road traffic officers in the line of duty will regret the action.
The warning followed a recent spate of violent incidents against LASTMA officers on duty.
At the weekend, a hit-and-run driver knocked down a LASTMA officer on duty. The officer, Amos Adebisi, suffered deep bruises in the face and arms.
The incident happened when the victim was effecting the arrest of an O-Pay rider that drove on the BRT lane in Ojota. Adebisi was taking the confiscated motorcycle to LASTMA office in Oshodi when the primero bus hit him at Idi-Iroko axis of Ikorodu Road.
The officer was unconscious momentarily after the impact, while bus driver sped off. Passersby rushed the officer to LASTMA clinic before he was referred to the General Hospital in Isolo.
After the accident, it was gathered that the O-Pay rider moved to the scene to retrieve the seized motorcycle before the back-up team of LASTMA arrived at the scene.
At the time of this report, the injured officer is still receiving treatment at the General Hospital, although his condition has been stabilised. It was gathered that LASTMA officers are on the trail of the bus driver and O-Pay rider.
Reliving the incident, Adebisi recalled that he was negotiating to join the service lane on Ikorodu Road when he heard screeches.
“That was the last thing I can remember,” he said, adding: “I regained consciousness and found myself being rushed by several people without being able to explain what was going on.”
Adebisi said the O-Pay rider was not with him at the time of the incident, wondering how the confiscated motorcycle could not be found at the scene.
This incident preceded another violent episode against a LASTMA officer, Ola Oyeshina, who died in the early hours of Saturday after two trailer drivers attacked him in Iganmu-Sifax area of Apapa.
Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka condemned the attacks on the LASTMA officers, describing them as “dastardly acts”.
He said: “There has been a terrible trend in our society where lawlessness is gradually taking preeminence and is becoming a norm.
“We will no longer watch as some elements fight against the symbol and apparatus of government.
“I condemn in strong terms any form of violence on LASTMA officials deployed by the State to manage traffic on the roads. Any attack on any government official be it Police, LASTMA, VIS, etc will no longer be condoned.
“Those responsible for the dastardly act will have their day in court as the Government intensifies efforts to track down other culprits involved in this despicable act.”
He said Lagos Government had always operated an open-door policy in punishing errant officials, urging members of the public to explore channels created by Government to report officers that go against the law in discharging their duties.