The order banning local government traffic officials from roads in Lagos State is still very much in force, General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Olawale Musa, has said.
They are also to desist from controlling and enforcing traffic laws.
Addressing motorists and commuters who had come to the agency’s head office in Oshodi to complain about the excessive activities of Local Government traffic officials who operate in mufti, Mr Musa said for the avoidance of doubt, the order is still operational on all roads in the State.
The complainants had besieged LASTMA’s office to report the activities of local government traffic officials operating in mufti who were fond of arresting and towing vehicles.
According to them, many motorists have become victims of the said traffic officials’ arbitrariness, lack of respect for the rule of law, assault, and illegal apprehension of vehicles, outright extortion and humiliation across the state.
One of the motorists, Otunba Olawale Yunusa, who spoke on behalf of the complainants, said if remain unchecked, the activities of the said local government traffic officials were capable of disrupting the free flow of traffic, social economic progress of the state, as well as undermine government’s efforts toward boosting tourism and security.
Responding, Musa said LASTMA had been inundated with motorists’ complaints about the activities of such unscrupulous elements, saying that the ban on the activities of local government traffic officials from controlling and enforcing traffic laws across the state was a government response to clarion call to curb their nefarious activities.
According to him, “The local government traffic officials are in the habit of displaying lack of professionalism in their conduct; they are improperly tutored in the act of managing traffic; they are ill-structured and disorganised, and they lack respect for motorists and members of the public.
“Many of them are attached to aprons of vested narrow interest and coupled with the fact that the whole arrangement is more of job for the boys and therefore operate in anything goes manner,” he said.
While assuring members of the public that the proscription of the activities of the said traffic officials by the current administration stands, Musa enjoined motorists accosted by such officials not to yield to their intimidation and demand for money irrespective of location being taken to.