The Lagos State Government on Wednesday vowed to henceforth deal ruthlessly with motorists or individuals caught attacking officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
This is as the state government said in 2018 alone, 18 LASTMA officers had been killed, while 24 others had been permanently incapacitated in the course of duty.
The state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, said this at a news conference in Lagos, where he said the state government would no longer fold its arms and allow its officers to be killed and dehumanised by members of the public.
Appealing to motorists and commuters, Lawanson said LASTMA was created and empowered by the law to “manage vehicular traffic flow in the state.”
He said, “One is therefore at a loss as to why our officers, employed to safeguard members of the public, are always attacked by the same members of the public whose interest they are promoting and protecting.
“Members of the public should realise that these officers are parents, uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces and indeed children of other people.”
Citing the case of Mr Rotimi Adeyemo, a LASTMA officer who was recently shot dead while performing his duty by the now deceased operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police, Olakunle Olonade, Lawanson said Adeyemo held both the National Certificate in Education and a bachelor’s degree in Economics.
“He left behind a 105-year old father, an 88-year-old mother, a wife and three children, including a set of twins,” he said.
Lawanson added, “We would like to reiterate that going forward, we will not tolerate the slightest attack on any of our officers and men.
“We shall henceforth apply the full weight of the relevant extant law on culprits in this regard.”