Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Okada Riders Beat Up LASTMA Officers
Aggrieved riders of motorcycles popularly called Okada plying Magodo area of Lagos State took to the Ojodu Berger road on Monday to engage some officers of the Lagos State Traffic and Management Authority in a fight after a raid by a combined team of policemen and LASTMA officers.
An Okada rider, said to be plying one of the restricted routes, was chased by the patrol teams. When they left after chasing other Okada riders away, others went on the rampage threatening to attack any LASTMA man in sight. Some of the protesting Okada riders were seen blocking the Roundabout at the end of the road with a traffic box.
They also beat up two officers of the LASTMA controlling traffic on the road before they were rescued by passers-by and members of the Ojodu-Berger chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
Some of the motorcycle riders said they were not operating on any of the restricted routes in the state and could not understand why the police had continued to molest them.
The incident caused a gridlock before members of the Ojodu-Berger chapter of the NURTW mobilized themselves to control the traffic.
Chairman of the Ojodu-Berger Park of the NURTW, Mr. Tokunbo Seriki said the police were on a “sanitising” exercise across motor parks in the area.
He said it was after they finished checking the park that they decided to move to the Okada Park.
Seriki said, ‘‘I was told that a fight was about to break between the LASTMA officers and the Okada riders, so I quickly moved in with my officers. This axis is known for peace and we will not compromise the peace for anything. We will control the traffic till we are sure the officers are safe.”