In the past few weeks, we have been greeted with disturbing news of unnecessary harassment, beating, shooting and killing of commercial bus drivers and motorcycle (Okada) riders by Policemen in Lagos state. This is coming in the wake of the enforcement of the new Lagos State Traffic Law and the ban of Okada from most major roads in the state.
Sometime last week, it was reported that policemen stripped an Okada rider naked in Akoka for plying a road he wasn’t supposed to under the new ban. Pictures of the naked man went viral online. As if that wasn’t enough, it was reported that another Okada rider was on Monday killed at Ilupeju Byepass. He was shot in the chest by a Policeman and died hours later.
Just yesterday, a bus conductor was also shot dead at Tipper Garage in Ketu, Lagos by a Policeman. Reports say he was shot for refusing to offer a policeman bribe after he allegedly broke a traffic law. The policeman identified as Corporal Oluwatiyesi Gboyega attached to Mopol 50, FCT Abuja, was said to have opened fire on him. The bullet hit him on the head, his brains spattered everywhere and he died immediately on the spot.
We also read similar news recently but with a different twist. This time, an Okada rider stripped himself naked in an attempt to avoid being arrested by a team of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Agency Taskforce for violating a road trafftic law.
Lagosians are still having a difficult time adjusting to the provisions of the traffic law and the ban on Okada. It is therefore disheartening that the people who are supposed to be the custodians of law and order in the society and make the adjustment convenient for everyone are using extreme and unnecessary measures to enforce it. We think its about time the Commissioner of Police and Lagos State Government calls these men to order to stop this indiscriminate shooting and harrasment of road users.
Have you had any unpleasant experience with Policemen or traffic officials since the enforcement of the Lagos State Traffic Law began that you would love to share?
Photo Credit: Pilot Nigeria