The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State has blamed motorists and traffic police for the traffic chaos in the state.
In a statement Thursday, the party said Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is sanitizing the traffic control agency to ensure a return to sanity on Lagos roads.
“Our attention has been drawn to series of calculated attempts by some faceless groups enemies of Lagos and saboteurs to paint his Excellency Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in bad light, giving the impression that he is slow in dealing with the problems of Lagos in the Social Media”, read the statement issued by Joe Igbokwe, its Publicity Secretary.
“Contrary to the syndicated attack against the governor, it is apt to state that the governor is working very hard to not only build on the noble legacies he met but also add greater values to leadership in line with the progressive tradition in Lagos for the past 16 years.
“The governor is responding to the upsurge of crimes in recent times by not only increasing the capacity of the security agencies but also extending the mop up of criminals in various parts of d state. It is of note that the governor has ordered the purchase of more helicopters to increase air surveillance that is critical in combating crimes in Lagos. His efforts are yielding fruits with recent security rout of criminals in various dark spots of d state. It will get better in the coming days.
“On traffic, the governor is mindful of the deliberate abuse of his directive that traffic rules be relaxed to wear human face. He is aware that his directive that motorists be given less punitive punishments are being abused by both motorists and enforcers to create situations of traffic chaos in the state.
“He is aware that road users are abusing his magnanimity and is presently working on strict enforcement of traffic rules while ensuring that the human face he gave to traffic management is still in place”.
Motorists in Lagos have recently complained of the deteriorating traffic situation in the state, which has been made worse by robberies, ongoing constructions and dilapidated roads.
Following the frequent reports on the state of traffic, Gov. Ambode on Monday sacked Young Arabamen as head of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, for his “docile nature” in handling the situation.
Mr. Arabamen, a former Commissioner of Police of the state, was replaced by Christian Olakpe, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police.
The Lagos APC noted that traffic congestion had always been a recurring phenomenon in Lagos “even in the sixties and seventies”.
“We remember that at a time during Governor Fashola’s era he had cause to post pictures of traffic situations in the past and the comments of leaders then just to prove that the problem did not start today”, Mr. Igbokwe said.
“But this is not an excuse to run away from the problem as Governor Ambode is breaking his back to address the traffic situation and its attendant consequences head on.
“Governor Ambode is frantically opening up rural roads in the nooks and crannies of the state and this has not only extended the frontiers of the Lagos mega city but brought the hitherto neglected rural communities to the urban hub of Lagos, as can be attested by the residents of these areas”.