Soldiers reportedly went on the rampage last weekend, beating Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officers in the Costain-Apapa region of the state for daring to impound a senior officer’s vehicle because he drove “one way” against the flow of traffic.
The senior military personnel was stopped and his official vehicle impounded over traffic contravention around Costain.
It was learned that the military officer, who felt slighted by the manner the LASTMA officers accosted him, left the scene and, few minutes after, some soldiers appeared and went after every LASTMA officer on sight.
The soldiers reportedly pounced on the officials, took them to their barracks, beat them before letting them go.
According to reports, the injured LASTMA personnel were then transferred to a hospital for treatment of their wounds.
Calm was later restored between both parties after apologies were tendered.
Hassan Adekoya, the State Coordinator for the Special Traffic Management Committee on the Apapa congestion, confirmed the incident and said that the matter had been settled amicably as a result of the participation of the appropriate authorities.
“Everything is fine now and our men are undergoing treatment at a hospital. Both parties have apologised to each other and there is no cause for alarm. The situation is under control,” he said.
Adekoya recounted; “Yes, our men were assaulted and beaten. Some military men arrested 12 LASTMA officers at the weekend while on duty and beat them.
“Last Friday, around 5p.m., they started raiding our officers on duty at Costain Roundabout to Sifax down to Total Bridge, Apapa. They picked up the most senior officer, called Bravo at Areas “B” Oriyomi.
“The invading soldiers claimed that one of their bosses was arrested in the morning for taking one way.”
State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, while reacting to incessant assaults of LASTMA personnel, objected to the rate at which military personnel, police officers and others contravene the state traffic laws with impunity.
He noted that “the law is no respecter of anybody and must be obeyed at all time.”
In a statement, Oladeinde further stated that the state government questioned why officers, who are supposed to be the guardians of traffic regulations, work against them and that the government had decided not to allow the threat to go unchallenged.
Oladeinde urged all security agencies to act honorably by setting an example by abiding by the state’s traffic rules, but he issued a warning that “any form of physical assault of the state traffic law enforcement officers by the erring security personnel will no longer be tolerated.”
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