There was no ambiguity in the reason for the establishment of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) when the former governor of Lagos state inaugurated the traffic body eight years ago. LASTMA was authorized to manage, control and coordinate the convoluted transportation network in the Lagos metropolis. Eight years after not many are sure if that’s exactly what they are up to. Local television stations are crammed with images of LASTMA officials fleeing for dear lives after being accused by angry mobs for contributing to a number of road accidents. I think the problem with this body lies largely in the educational background of most of its workers; with little or no functional educational background, every tom, dick and harry now wears the cream and wine outfit. But then there have been allegations in the past that most of the body’s members were ex- social miscreants paid off with LASTMA jobs for supporting the state government in elections.
The truth is the public’s confidence in its LASTMA’s role is at an all time low. A lot has to do with the body’s abysmal public relations performance. Almost everyone has a story tale to tell of the men of LASTMA. It is almost as if the men of the transport body derive some sadistic joy from a traffic offender caught in its traffic traps. Well I have no problem with being flagged down and stopped, but why go to such extremes like breaking a vehicle’s side-mirror or chasing an errant driver like one of hell’s angels
As an eye witness of today’s gory road accident at the core of Alausa secretariat- the seat of Lagos government, I watched with mixed feelings as an official of the transport body was nearly lynched by a very angry crowd who had watched him chase- to-hell a commercial bus to an avoidable accident-several of the buses’ commuters sustained serious injuries. He was rescued from the fury of the protesters only by a group of stern military men
Now this isn’t the first time this has happened, many lives have been lost and several others have their damaged limbs suspended from slings at the orthopedic hospital in yaba- a museum for the city’s accident victims. The time to act is now, LASTMA ought to save lives and not exacerbate an already worrisome situation