Don’t plead for erring motorists, Olakpe urges friends, others

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Lagos  –  The new Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Christian Olakpe, on Monday urged friends and relatives not to call him to pardon any erring motorist.

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Olakpe spoke on the floor of the Lagos State House of Assembly where he appeared after the lawmakers invited him to explain the resurgence of gridlock in the state.

The retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police also appealed to lawmakers in the state not to call him to plead for anyone caught flouting the law.

He said that there would be no waivers in the enforcement of traffic laws in the state under his leadership.

Olakpe, who noted that he was not new to the state, told the lawmakers that he would re-invigorate LASTMA in three months.

“I am an advocate of reward for good work and punishment for evil work.

“I can dismiss any officer on the spot and we are going to revive LASTMA within a short period of time. We will give the authority the impetus it needs.

“Once you are dismissed, your name will be published in the press and in our gazette. There will be reduction of ranks of offending officers.

“I will warn my men seriously and I will visit the Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army for his support and any military man that beats a LASTMA official would be dealt with,” he said.

Olakpe vowed that any motorist found driving against traffic or on Bus Rapid Transit dedicated lanes would have his or her vehicle impounded and the owner would be fined.

“I will work until we get a new improved LASTMA. Our men would be visible and accessible; whoever goes against the law will be pursued with power bikes by LASTMA officials.

“On enforcement, we will touch many places and we want the local government chairmen in the state to help us do some roads in their areas,” he said.

The LASTMA CEO, however, appealed to the state government to provide more designated bus stops.

He urged the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, to help the authority increase funding to enable it procure raincoats, boots and torchlights for its men.

Also speaking, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Bashir Braimah, promised that it would no longer be business as usual in the area of transportation in the state.
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He said that anyone who flouted the traffic laws would have himself or herself to blame.

Responding, Obasa said that the state had the capacity to ensure free flow of traffic and urged the new LASTMA boss to keep his promise of changing the face of LASTMA within three months.

“Once the traffic is free, nobody will ply one way. I am assuring you of our support at all times and we will do everything necessary to ensure that LASTMA functions and progresses.

“We are concerned and passionate about traffic in Lagos State as the representatives of over 20 million people,” the speaker said. (NAN)

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