Officials of the agency created to manage traffic in the nation’s commercial capital of Lagos State have again been prevented from carrying out their duties on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Lagos State Government said on Thursday.
A statement from the state Ministry of Transportation said men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, were forced to leave the expressway by “some men in black uniform who have been parading themselves as FERMA Task Force”.
The statement, signed by the ministry’s Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations, Sina Thorpe, added that the task force men were aided by armed policemen.
Thorpe said LASTMA officials were, however, calm and avoided a confrontation with the task force officials.
He said, “Unknown men in black uniform, who have been parading themselves as FERMA Task Force, took over Lagos tollgate end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway this morning again.
“They were aided by four armed policemen, intimidating Lagosians, especially LASTMA officials at their legitimate duty post who, in the face of provocation, remained calm and later continued with their legitimate duty”.
The statement added that the incidence had been reported to the Lagos Police Command, which allegedly denied posting any of its men to the Task Force.
It quoted the police command as saying the “illegal” deployment of police personnel and the men onto the roads of Lagos would be investigated and dealt with appropriately.
The statement added, “It was also observed that a mass transit bus branded in the campaign colours of the Lagos State Peoples Democratic governorship candidate was parked on the premises of the Men in Black.
“The Lagos State Government once again wishes to condemn the nefarious activities of this faceless group and calls on their handlers to withdraw them immediately from the highway in the state”.