Founder of the United Breeds Foundation (UBF), Mr. Anthony Abakporo, has accused an official of Lagos State Traffic Management (LASTMA) of physical assault.
Mr. Abakporo claimed he was assaulted at Apple Junction, Amuwo Odofin, while members of his team were managing traffic in a bid to serve the Amuwo Odofin community.
When Jeremiah Obaseki, a reporter, visited Apple Junction after Mr. Abakporo had vented his frustration via his Twitter handle, Notably, Mr. Abakporo had red-eye, which he claimed was a result of being hit by a LASTMA official.
According to him, “A LASTMA official punched me today because we were against them arresting motorists wrongly. Some of the lights are not working. There’s no motorist that would fall, so why should you arrest them? Why don’t you keep an eye on them for now until they fix the lights? Are you going to arrest someone for what is not his crime?
“I’m not saying nobody should be here (Apple Junction); all I’m calling for is orderliness. This is our community, and we can’t watch it die. Let’s do what we can do. Everything is not about the government. There are some young people who are not doing anything. Why don’t we look for resources, give them stipends, and get them to serve the community while they are on a job hunt? Even if they get jobs, hopefully we will recruit new ones for other community issues that need to be fixed.”
He stated, “While I was talking to a Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO), a LASTMA official came from behind and punched me. I saw stars.”
Atere A.J., a LASTMA official, said, “We are well-trained LASTMA officials and you can’t compare us to people who were trained for months.
“When a motorist commits a traffic offense, we are here to arrest and correct their mistakes, but they (UBF) create confusion when we do our job. When the traffic is congested, that is when we use our hands, but when the traffic is light, we don’t have to use our hands to control motorists.
“When we try to arrest a motorist for a traffic offense, they claim that they were passed by them (UBF), which has caused misunderstandings. We are generating income for the Lagos State Government, so we have to arrest traffic offenders and sometimes correct them.”
Atere claimed ignorance of the physical assault on MR Abakporo as he was not on duty at the time.
However, he commended members of UBF for their community service at Apple Junction.
It was observed that some traffic lights at Apple Junction remain faulty.
The accused LASTMA official, whose name remains unknown, was unavailable to speak at the time of filing this report.