The Lagos State government today embarked on a massive clampdown on illegal activities in various areas of the metropolis, arresting traffic offenders, street traders and miscreants in Oyingbo, Idumota and Apapa.
Speaking during the extensive exercise, the Commissioner for Transportation. Dr. Fredric Oladeinde expressed the government’s determination to ensure sanity on Lagos roads, assuring that the enforcement activities would be sustained until success was achieved.
The Commissioner maintained that it had become obligatory for road users to remain disciplined while plying the roads as the State Government was committed to developing a network of roads that would ease business operations across the State.
While making reference to Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Executive Order directing the removal of impediments to free flow of traffic across the State, Oladeinde noted that the Ministry of Transportation had developed an inclusive plan to find lasting solutions to the perennial challenge of traffic congestion.
“We have had several engagements with Chairmen of LGAs and LCDAs, members of the NURTW, Association of Market Women and Men as well as other relevant stakeholders on the need to support the government in this crusade of ridding our roads of illegal activities”, he affirmed
Oladeinde revealed that the exercise would extend to other areas including Ketu, Ikorodu, Maryland, Lekki/Ajah, Iyana Ipaja and Ikotun corridors, warning traffic offenders not to fall victim of the enforcement exercise, as the government would prosecute anyone contravening the law.
Speaking further on the gridlock experienced in recent times, the Commissioner described the occurrence as man-made, stating that the enforcement team would ultimately ensure sanity on all roads across the State.
“When you have commercial vehicles parking to pick or offload passengers at wrong locations while traders display their goods on the walkways, how do you achieve orderliness on the road”, he wondered.
The Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, who was also part of the team that conducted the enforcement, reiterated that roadsides and walkways were not designated for trading and as such people must desist from engaging in any form of business activities on the roads.
He further revealed that the monitoring and enforcement team had been mandated to arrest and dislodge illegal traders on the road at any time of the day, adding that the State government was committed to bequeathing a desirable environment to all.
Fayinka stated that there was no tenable reason for selling on walkways and highways as Government had provided conducive areas across the State where goods could be sold, asserting that government was always ready to assist traders through its Micro Finance Bank to secure loans for their businesses to thrive.
Commenting on the activities of the yellow buses apprehended, Fayinka noted that the State Government had provided lay-bys and slip roads for the purpose of picking and dropping passengers, urging commercial vehicle drivers to desist from sabotaging the traffic law.
In a similar exercise at Lilly Pond area of Apapa, operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit (Taskforce) raided criminal hideouts to dislodge miscreants that have been terrorising residents and motorists along the corridor.
Chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi disclosed that the raid became imperative as innocent members of the public, including traders, complained of criminal attacks on daily basis in the neighbourhood.
Egbeyemi revealed that the enforcement team of the Agency demolished all illegal structures/shanties which serve as abode to these criminal elements before they mobilised and attacked officers of the Agency, including para-military men with dangerous weapons.
According to Egbeyemi “Immediately after a successful operation, my officers came under heavy attack from these notorious armed miscreants who wielded cutlasses, charms, broken bottles and guns which left one of my officers with a bullet wound on his thigh.
“Thereafter, we remobilised and cleared the entire area of all illegal shanties and apprehended all street traders along the road set-backs around ‘LillyPond Transit Truck Park’, arresting 16 notorious miscreants”
CSP Egbeyemi reiterated the State government’s commitment to restore sanity across the State by ensuring free-flow of traffic and fixing all bad roads immediately after the rainy season as contractors have been mobilised to commence rehabilitation work.
He warned all motorists who indulge in flouting traffic regulations to desist forthwith as any offender would be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.
The enforcement team included officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Environment Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Lagos State Task Force and Lagos State Neighborhood Corps (LNSC).