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‘Police will jeopadise implementation of Lagos traffic law’
The efforts of the Lagos State government towards ensuring free flow of traffic may come to nought if nothing is done to curb the excesses of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
The state government, in its attempt to bring about sanity on the roads, introduced some traffic regulations, meant to ensure safety and free flow of traffic on the roads.
However, some motorists who spoke to Community News on how to ensure compliance with the traffic laws, expressed fears that those saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the laws may turn it to gold mine,, that is an avenue to making quick money from commercial bus operators.
They lamented that most of the men saddled with the responsibility of ensuring free flow of traffic often fraternise with motorists, thus, compromising their official duty of ensuring free flow of traffic.
A banker at Ketu area who sought anonymity, blamed incessant traffic snarl on Ikorodu road, especially at Ketu axis of the road, on the excesses of traffic wardens attached to the area.
He stated that traffic wardens often look another direction when motorists misbehave on the road.
“For the state government to achieve its ambition of ensuring free flow of traffic, it must orientate those men saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the laws. At Ketu area, traffic wardens attached to the area are responsible for most of the traffic problems. They extort money openly from commercial bus operators and when drivers violate any law, they will not be bold enough to arrest them for prosecution.”
“You see, most police, LASTMA, KAI and others see their presence on the road as an avenue to make money, hence their action may jeopardise the current effort of the state government.”Apart from law enforcement agencies, the activities of revenue collectors appointed by various local councils is also affecting traffic control. Most people accused revenue collectors of always stopping vehicles on the highways to collect money.
In a related development, barely two weeks after the enactment of a new traffic law in Lagos State, some of its residents are already complaining about its enforcement, pleading that they should be spared the extortion of security personnel, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
NAN reported that the most affected seems to be commercial motorcycle operators, who are complaining of heightened police extortion in a bid to enforce the new traffic law.
NAN learnt that police officers in some areas of Lagos Metropolis have seized many motorcycles that could not pay certain amount of money imposed for allegedly violating the new Lagos traffic law.
NAN also reports that police officers were seen mounting road blocks at Oke-Afa area of Isolo; Moshalashi in Mushin; Ago-Isolo junction; Orile-National Theatre inter-change bridge; Agege; Shomolu-Bariga; in defiance of the order of the Inspector-General of Police.
Mr Jude Bassey, a motorcyclist operating in Mushin, claimed that the police have been demanding between N1, 500 and N5, 000 from each 'okada rider' for "carrying passengers without using crash helmet."
Also, Felix Odion, another motorcyclist operating at Shomolu, appealed to the relevant authorities to save them from police extortion.
``I always have an encounter with the police while using my okada to work. When I refused to cooporate with them, some of the officers will tell me, you think you know more than us.
``We will carry your bike to our station and you will pay N25, 000 to claim it,`` Odion noted.Share
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