Saturday, 4th December 2021
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Judging LASTMA personnel fairly

There is a general notion by many Lagosians that all the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials are corrupt and that this personnel do nothing

[files] LASTMA

Sir: There is a general notion by many Lagosians that all the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials are corrupt and that this personnel do nothing on the road other than to extort. It would, however, be totally wrong and unfair to judge all officials of the agency as bad or corrupt. In every setting, we have two categories of staff – the promoters and spoilers of good deeds. For every original thing, there exists the counterfeit and as such, life itself is two-sided. So, human actions are adjudged good or bad based on the line drawn as standard.

A very important fact that must be registered in the mind of all is that people are by nature generally opposed to anything or anyone that checkmates or regulates their actions. They become even recalcitrant when the enforcement of laws is affected. This fact alone makes LASTMA officials the enemy of those who is addicted to traffic offenders. Traffic control is the core duty of the agency, the arrest of traffic violators is secondary but the latter is as important as the former for compliance purpose. When penalties are paid by traffic law defaulters, it would make them think twice about flouting it next time and also serve as deterrence to would-be offenders too.

The spokesman for LASTMA, Mr. Olumide Filade, recently disclosed that the agency, between May and July this year, had impounded a total of 2,280 privately-owned vehicles and 1,570 commercial vehicles, while 130 drivers were referred to the Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI) for recertification of their licences within the same period. With this alone, these affected members of the public would certainly not be happy with the agency; they blame the traffic law enforcers for not being lenient because they failed to wear a ‘‘human face.’’

According to Filade, about 11 officers of the agency have so far faced various disciplinary actions from 2020 till date, with some having their appointments terminated, some demoted and others reprimanded for various offences. It would be recalled that a LASTMA officer was dismissed for demanding a bribe from a motorist in June this year. This shows clearly that the agency isn’t handling levity allegations or complaints of corruption against any officer.

The way LASTMA officers are quick to warn, correct or apprehend traffic violators, the management of the agency, who acts as check and balance to their works, will with the same pace, treat allegation cases involving extortion. The motoring public is therefore urged to reach out to the agency and make a formal report of misdemeanor of any officer in his line of duty.

As officers and men of LASTMA, our scorecard of performance is solely determined by what we do as seen by the public. Whether it’s commendation or condemnation; it’s a function of our own doing!

Kayode Ojewale is of the Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA.