Two officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) threw caution to the wind yesterday as they engaged commercial bus driver in fisticuffs.
Motorists, commuters and passersby were astonished seeing the LASTMA men pulled off their uniforms in the middle of the fight.
Some of the passersby who took pictures were harassed and their handsets destroyed by the LASTMA men.
The incident occurred at Anthony bus stop near Oshodi, Lagos, following the arrest of the driver for plying the BRT lane.
Eyewitness said one of the LASTMA officials smashed the windscreen of the TATA bus owned by the Ogo Oluwa Motors with his telecom’s device.
The LASTMA’s action, he said, followed his earlier call for a backup team when the driver of the bus refused to alight and hand over the keys.
The LASTMA’s official’s action infuriated passengers, the conductors and the driver who were seen pleading.
The driver and the conductor alighted and exchange blows with the LASTMA men. Two of the LASTMA officials pulled off their yellow shirt during the fight.
Many watched as they were seen trying to stab one another with the broken windscreen glasses.
Bashir Sanni, a passenger blamed the LASTMA official for smashing the windscreen.
“It does not matter what kind of offence that has been committed; that was not a wise way of stopping a bus driver. Is that the orientation given to them? How can he break a windscreen? You know how much it costs. If every defaulting bus windscreen was smashed anytime they misbehave, how many good buses would remain? Sanni asked.
Another passenger who declined giving his name called on LASTMA authority to sack the officials for indiscipline.
“With the kind of attitude they displayed and for dragging the name of the agency in the mud, they ought to be sacked,” he said.
When contacted, LASTMA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Bola Ajao, promised to investigate the matter.
“I doubt if our men were involved in the fracas; you know some people using fake LASTMA uniforms are everywhere now to perpetrate evils,” she said.
Also yesterday, members of the National Union of Tricycle Riders and area boys clashed over illegal collection of money from the Keke Marwa drivers in Oshodi.
The drivers refused to pay the area boys following directives from their union.
Many scampered for safety after the warring factions displayed dangerous weapons.
The clashes resulted led to traffic from Ladipo junction to Oshodi under-bridge.
It took the intervention of officers from Makinde, Mafoluku and Mosafejo Police Stations and reinforcement from Police Headquarters, Ikeja to restore normalcy to the area.
Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, Patricia Amadin confirmed the fracas, saying that no life was lost.
“There was a misunderstanding between the tricycle operators and area boys but the situation was immediately calmed by the DPOS,” she said.