For two weeks now, Lagos has been on lockdown due to the severe traffic jam that has enveloped the city. Unpredictable. Undeniable. Unimaginable. These are the words that have failed to totally describe the traffic situation in the Center of Excellence, as reported by concerned resident of Lagos, Ifeanyi Ogbu.
Coincidentally, at about the same two weeks ago, officials of the Lagos State Traffic Monitoring Agency (LASTMA), was ordered to stop jumping into cars of traffic offenders or impounding their cars. they were instructed to book the offenders and let them go. This is what obtains in developed societies and is a conscious effort to remove human intervention from the process or at least, reduce it to the barest minimum.
It is not news that on the road, the LASTMA official is prosecutor, judge and jury. Meaning that "discussions" can be started and completed right there on the road in the comfort of the offender's car. There have been cases of some unscrupulous officials following offenders to ATM's in order to "collect the fine" for offenses committed.
The interesting thing now is that since this order was given, LASTMA officials seem to have abandoned their posts. A few days ago I saw commercial buses "danfo" boldly parked at Lekki roundabout hustling for passengers at the detriment of other motorists. LASTMA officials were nowhere to be found. Only 3 weeks ago, NO DANFO DRIVER would have attempted this.
The question now is this: IS THERE A SILENT PROTEST BY AGGRIEVED LASTMA OFFICIALS? Are they protesting an order that appears to have taken food from their table? If YES, then it's working as Lagosians are already calling Governor Ambode all manner of names over the traffic situation. It appears Lagosians just want things to work irrespective of how it is done.
Under the former able Governor Fashola, everyone complained about LASTMA and the ways of some of it's officials. Now Ambode is doing something about it and we all are shouting. I've listened to people say he should leave everything the way he met it and provide continuity. Some even said he should go for tutelage under BRF.
My advise to Governor Ambode is to stay on what he believes is best for Lagos. He was voted in to take decisions on our behalf and that, he must do.
If this is a war between Ambode and LASTMA OFFICIALS, then It is a war in which corruption is fighting back and Lagosians must choose which side they will fight on. I pray we don't fight alongside corruption instead of fighting against it.
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