This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Traffic Law - Lagos Evicts Nigeriens, Others

Lagos State Government has said about 100 nationals of Niger Republic among others have been escorted out of the metropolis in the last 24 hours, those who break the state law are more often than not aliens.

Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) disclosed this at a special session with members of the Metropolitan Club in Victoria Island on "Freedom from Fear in Relation to Law and Order" in the state.

The governor, who addressed the eminent personalities including President of the Club, Chief Olu Akinkugbe, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN), Ambassador Dapo Fafowora and Chief Philip Asiodu among other members, added that there was no going back on the enforcement of the new road traffic law.

He explained that those who break the law with impunity "are more often than not aliens with no respect for rules and regulation.

"In the last 24 hours, over 100 people from Niger Republic have been escorted out of Lagos," he said.

He added that those supporting unregulated commercial motorcycle operations should visit the hospitals and emergency wards and see those who have lost limbs and arms; who have lost children and had become orphans as a result of reckless operations of commercial motorcyclists.

Fashola pointed out that Nigerians should understand the idea behind the new traffic law "is to ensure the quality of life of everyone, the protection of the assets of every resident of Lagos State and their businesses.

"In less than two decades, the okadas have gained so much prominence that it has become a phenomenon which should not have been allowed in the first place, stressing that the elite also contributed as many encouraged their staff and employees to start taking okadas to run errands quickly."

According to him, the only way to stop the business from flourishing is by not patronising them. It is a business that if the income from it dwindles, the business proposition of those in it will change.

He said he had taken it upon himself "to lead by example by shunning the use of siren to escape from the traffic and to fight against any attempt by Very Important Personalities (VIPs) to close roads and that the people must be ready to fight against behaviour and conduct that are hazardous to healthy and secure existence."

He said the state government established its waste management authority to allow people dispose their refuse properly but that the people prefer to still patronise cart pushers who would dump the refuse in a canal by the corner thus causing flooding.

He said some people "are saying they will not obey the law that protects the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) dedicated lane because they say it is draconian for the government to insist on its enforcement."

While speaking on freedom from fear at the session, the governor explained that the presence or absence of law and order in any society is what determines whether the people will live in fear or without it.

According to him, while the 1999 Constitution guarantees many rights, there was no right classified as right to be free from fear in the constitution because freedom from fear seems to have been the forgotten freedom.

The governor therefore noted that the responsibility to give the freedom that secures all freedom lies with every individual who must make it a point of duty to ensure that they secure themselves against fear.

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