Bakare Olatunji
The Lagos State Government on Friday said the lynching of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority Commander, Olatunji Bakare by a mob in the Apapa area of the state would not go unpunished.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Anofi Elegushi, who stated this at a press briefing in Lagos, said the punishment would not be compromised in any way to serve as a deterrent to others.
Elegushi said, “We have not just come here to announce a death. But we are here to state that this death is one too many.
“It is one instance of several where Lagos State Traffic Management Authority officials are given raw deals either by the people they are meant to serve or police and military officers. This must be stopped.”
The commissioner explained that eyewitness accounts revealed that LASTMA vehicle did not kill anyone, saying it was the driver of the tanker that killed its motor boy who was asleep under the vehicle. “It is authoritative that the mob action was carried out by tanker drivers, okada riders and other residents of the area. All of them are persons who are violating the terms of the law. They intend to have a life at the expense of all of them. “Officer Bakare remains a victim of a forceful takeover of roads by a group of people who desires to become a law unto themselves;  we have over the years asked tank farms to provide alternatives parking spaces for the tankers, yet they remain intransigent. To avoid situations such as this, we have proffered options. We remain undaunted in our resolve.
“It bears restating that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority is an agency established by the law. That law implies that LASTMA acts on behalf of the state government. The agency officers must be accorded the respect they very well deserve. In case of an infraction by any of them, there are due processes and complaint mechanism that redress those infractions.
“The fact is that a gallant officer has been brought down in a situation where clearly Lagos State Traffic Management Authority is not culpable. Therefore, we call on the police to do a thorough investigation. The perpetrator(s) must be brought to book and justice must be done.”
Elegushi said LASTMA enforcement remains a routine activity designed to ensure free flow of traffic, saying, the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was committed to civility in the process of enforcement.