Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has condemned in very clear terms the action of soldiers who went on rampage in Lagos on Friday, destroying BRT buses and beating civilians nearby.
He advised law enforcement agents to always guide against the temptation to take laws into their hands and damage public property as this act would only set the society back.
The Governor who spoke with State House Correspondents at Lagos House, Ikeja after a meeting of the State Executive Council added that he has been in touch with the Brigade Commander who has assured him that he was managing and controlling the situation.
He was joined at the briefing by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba; Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Lateef Raji and his counterpart on Media, Hakeem Bello.
If buses that citizens are saying are not enough are being set ablaze, Fashola said he could not understand how destroying buses recompenses any injury in any event that anyone may have suffered, saying: “I don’t know how damaging public property is restitution for any injury that may have come”.
The Governor who said, that the event occurred whilst he was on his way back from Abuja, gave a commitment that when he gets the full facts, he will address the media and let them know what has happened and what the State intends to do and how it intends to go about it.
“There is allegation that somebody who was not supposed to be on the BRT route was there and as far as I know if something happens to you while you are conducting an unlawful act, it is a criminal offence in its own sense.
“It’s really disappointing to put it mildly that public servants and that is what soldiers are, paid with tax payers money will act in a manner that is being suggested here and I say being suggested because I am waiting for official report to let me know who really played what role, what happened, whether or not even the Brigade Commander has been able to identify the people who were involved,” he explained.
Going down memory lane, Fashola said “I remember it was in 2005 or 2006 that soldiers went on rampage in Barracks area of Surulere and set ablaze the Area C Police Command and we just managed to finish completion and equipping that building.”
It was sorrow, tears and blood in Lagos on Friday as soldiers went on rampaging, destroying BRT buses and beating up their drivers after one of the buses ran into a soldier riding a bike illegally on a dedicated BRT lane.
The incident, which occurred at the Palmgrove area of Ikorodu Road, Lagos State, attracted a lot of attention.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the soldier died immediately on the spot.
Another eyewitness claimed that the BRT driver crushed the soldier while attempting to swerve.
The death of the soldier sparked anger among his colleagues who stormed out of the Ikeja Military Cantonment and took the roads from Maryland down to Palmgrove and other routes to Lagos Island, destroying all BRT buses in sight.
Some of the soldiers were captured on camera smashing a BRT windscreen
Soldiers went to a violent rampage, burning buses and beating up civilians
BRT buses valued at N100 million were burnt and damaged by the rampaging soldiers according to an official of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA)
It was learnt that two of the buses burnt by the soldiers had only been in operation for less than two months.