Sanitation officers clash with marketers in Lagos

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Four operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps on Tuesday sustained varying degrees of injury during a confrontation with some angry traders in Araromi, Oshodi area of Lagos State.

It was learnt that the officials were on patrol when they sighted some alleged environmental infractions in the community.

Some of the men were reported to have come down from the patrol truck to confiscate goods displayed by traders on the sidewalk, while others damaged structures erected by the roadside.

The traders were alleged to have become infuriated when they noticed some operatives filming the scene.

Our correspondent was told that the traders, together with some hoodlums, attacked the officers with broken bottles, sticks and stones.

It was learnt that while four of the officials were injured in the melee, the windscreen of the LAGSC vehicle was shattered.

A statement by the Public Affairs Officer of LAGSC, Ramat Alabi, said the agency reinforced back to the scene and arrested 15 suspects.

She said, “On Tuesday January 23, the men of the special squad of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps were on routine inspection to Oshodi Marcarthy/ Araromi/ Banjoko streets.

“Far reaching environmental infractions were noticed, including drainage littered with debris, stagnated drainage and traders arbitrarily displaying wares on the sidewalk and culverts. Officers commenced enforcement and pictorial recordings of the scene and dislodging of the traders.

“The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps, Mrs. Idowu Mohammed, said it was at this point that some of the traders attacked the officers with stones, bottles, sticks and other dangerous objects. The atmosphere became tense and it was realised that the officers could not vacate the scene without getting hurt.

“Upon receipt of the report, we immediately ordered a back up team from the headquarters and before the reinforcement could get there, some of our officers had been injured and some vehicles badly damaged. With the help of the back-up team, 15 people, including eight males and seven females were arrested at the scene.”

While urging residents to desist from attacking sanitation officials in the discharge of their duties, Alabi said the suspects had been arraigned before the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Safety Arena, Bolade-Oshodi.

She said their punishment would serve as a deterrent to others.

“I will like to call on Lagosians to be law abiding and conscious of the cleanliness of their environment,” she added.

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )

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