LASTMA officials neglect gridlock, exploit motorists
Commuters plying Iju Road in the Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State have lamented the gridlock at Fagba Junction along the road, they blame LASTMA for negligence.
A resident of Obawole, a community close to the junction, Tayo Ayowale, said men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority spent time subduing erring motorists and neglecting traffic control.
He said, “That junction has become an ATM for LASTMA officials. Instead of passing traffic, you will find them begging for money from motorists. When they spot a motorist that broke a traffic rule, they all abandon traffic duty while trying to arrest the driver.”
When our correspondent visited the junction, he noticed six LASTMA officials struggling with the driver of a Toyota Highlander, whom they claimed flouted a traffic law.
Photos taken showed the moment the Toyota Highlander tried to link Iju Road by climbing the road demarcation and moving towards a truck.
According to the driver, who was traveling with a woman in her 60s, a LASTMA official, whom he pointed at, told him to drive in that direction.
The unidentified driver could be heard saying, “He was the one that told me to drive that way.”
This went on for about 20 minutes while traffic at the junction was left to a man on mufti as the gridlock degenerated.
It was noted that the traffic light at the junction was faulty.
A commercial tricycle operator, who asked not to be identified, said his colleagues contributed to the traffic at the junction, which they had turned into a motor park.
He advised the government to fix the traffic light at the junction and the potholes on the road.
A resident, Tobilola Ayinla, said the behavior of motorcycle operators on the road also compounded traffic in the area.
“Okada riders are always plying one-way while traveling with two passengers. Their movement on the road scares pedestrians,” he added.
A resident of Jonathan Coker Street, Kingsley Ajao, said a flyover at the junction would ease the traffic.
“Look at Agege, the flyover there has reduced traffic. This Iju Road leads to the flyover. If the government can build a flyover for us at this junction, traffic will be smooth,” he added.
The Public Relations Officer, LASTMA, Adebayo Taofik, said the junction was a sensitive area, adding that the officials were doing their best to ensure the free flow of traffic.
He said, “That Fagba Junction is a very sensitive area and it’s one of the areas being given priority by the LASTMA General Manager, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba. Our officers over there are using the manual in controlling traffic because the traffic lights are not working.
Don’t forget that some of the roads on that axis are under construction. The motorists saying our officers don’t control traffic but go after erring drivers are the ones that are causing obstruction and impeding the free flow of traffic along the Fagba, Iju, and railway intersections.
There’s no way the government will fold its arms and allow their behavior.”