An operative of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Obasu Godwin, was recently confirmed dead at Anthony area of Lagos State after some commercial bus drivers attacked and hacked him.
The General Manager, LASTMA, Olajide Oduyoye, confirmed the incident stating that the deceased, alongside his colleague, Adeniyi Hakeem, were attacked by an operator of Suzuki commercial bus otherwise known as ‘korope’, and others at Anthony on Tuesday.
Oduyoye explained that Godwin and Hakeem were attacked with machetes and other dangerous weapons by the unidentified driver of a commercial bus, a development, he said, led to the death of Godwin.
He noted that trouble started when the commercial bus driver with registration number FKJ 452 YC, plying Bariga to Oshodi via the Ikorodu Road axis, was apprehended for contravening the Traffic Law of the State.
Angered by the officer’s action, the driver said to be an ex-convict, in cohort with some other drivers pounced on the officers, overpowered, and eventually hacked the deceased.
According to him, the sad fact about the whole saga was that the two officers were in mufti and on their way home, having completed their morning shift and closed for the day before the recalcitrant commercial bus drivers went berserk, seeking any LASTMA officers to attack for carrying out their statutory duties.
“Obazu was struck severally with machetes resulting in deep lacerations on the head and his eventual death, while Adeniyi Hakeem, who was also attacked in a similar fashion has been hospitalized and is in a coma,” Oduyoye said in a published statement.
While noting that some senior officers, who were also in mufti and around the area were lucky to escape the mob attack, the LASTMA boss warned all cultists doubling as commercial bus drivers that any traffic violation or infraction would be punished or penalised as enacted by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Oduyoye noted that seven of the culprits have been apprehended and handed over to the police while the driver of the bus and others are still at large, assuring that the police would conduct a proper investigation.
According to him, the full wrath of the law would be brought to bear on all those found guilty of taking laws into their hands.
On his part, the LASTMA Director of Operations, Bolaji Oreagba, who described the incident as saddening, stressed that the unfortunate incident would not deter the agency from carrying out its functions and duties as laid down by the Law of the State.
Commiserating with the family of the deceased officer, Oreagba promised to ensure that the severely injured officer, who is still in a coma at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, was well taken care of.
“The State and the agency have lost too many good law enforcement officers to these lawless and recalcitrant motorists and this has to stop,” he added.