- LASTMA and 7UP officials got involved in a serious fight as Gov Ambode was stuck in traffic at Alausa on Saturday, May 19
- The governor had reportedly ordered traffic officials to clear the road which was blocked by trucks belonging to the bottling company
- The clash was confirmed by LASTMA’s public affairs officer, Mahmud Hassan, who said an official of the agency was dragged on the tarred road, while another was beaten to a pulp
Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) reportedly clashed with some workers of the Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc at the 7UP end of the Mobolaji Johnson Avenue in Alausa, Ikeja, leading to chaos.
During the fracas which took place on Saturday, May 19, two LASTMA officials were injured and rushed to a hospital in an ambulance, Punch reports.
Legit.ng gathers that the free flow of traffic had been obstructed by some trucks belonging to the bottling company; and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, had ordered traffic officials to clear the road. The governor had been among those held in the ensuing jam around 11am.
According to a source, seeing that movement was at a standstill, Ambode’s convoy later took an alternative route.
He stated: “Everywhere was blocked. The governor’s convoy was forced to look for an alternative road. I later saw a LASTMA official being rushed into an ambulance. He was covered in blood.
“I saw a policeman and asked the cause of the chaos; and he explained that some guys blocked the road and the governor ordered LASTMA officials to drive them away from the road. However, in the course of doing that, one of the LASTMA officials was stabbed.”
The clash was confirmed by LASTMA’s public affairs officer, Mahmud Hassan, who said the management of the bottling company had been warned many times against blocking the road with trucks. According to Hassan, the warnings had been ignored.
He said: “Workers at the 7UP plant at the old Toll Gate are fond of obstructing the free flow of traffic by parking vehicles on that major road that linked the old Toll Gate to the Secretariat Road. We have had meetings with them and warned them, but they failed to heed the warning.
“Yesterday (Saturday), they did the same thing and four of their trucks were impounded. We had initially instructed them to move the trucks, but they refused and said their vehicles would not leave the road until they finished whatever they were doing. That was when we towed away the trucks.
“In the process of doing that, they launched an attack on our officials and our vehicles. They destroyed some of our vehicles and injured our officers who went for the operation. Nobody was stabbed. While one of our workers was dragged on the tarred road, the other was beaten to a pulp. In the end, three of their workers were arrested."
He said the suspects would be arraigned on Monday, May 21, and warned that the agency would not spare anyone who attacked traffic officials while on their lawful duties.
The incident was also confirmed by the spokesman for the Lagos state police command, SP Chike Oti.
In his words: “There was a truck obstructing free flow of traffic in the 7UP area and the LASTMA men went to clear the road. In the process, the driver of the truck fought them and broke the windscreen and other parts of their vehicle.
“The Police came into the matter and arrested the driver, who will be charged to court for malicious damage and obstruction of traffic. Also, the truck has been impounded by the Police.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously obtained photos of a fight between an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and some tricycle riders in Ikeja, Lagos state.
Trouble reportedly started after a LASTMA patrol van reportedly hit a tricycle which made angry riders attack the van.
The van had reportedly been trailing a tricycle from Ikeja to the Allen avenue area of Lagos, after the latter broke a traffic law and attempt to escape the officials.
Traffic in Lagos: Only Nigerians will understand - on Legit.ng TV: