Buses Burnt In Lagos Clash
Two buses, one belonging to the BRT scheme and the other belonging to the state-owned LAGBUS, were burnt down in Ketu on Wednesday, by angry protesters.
The protest was sparked by the alleged death of a yet to be identified commercial motorcycle driver, who was hit by a LAGBUS vehicle while trying to escape from officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority. According to witnesses, the traffic officials were chasing the motorcycle rider from Ketu for allegedly flouting a traffic law. Although, the offence he committed could not be established, several accounts said he carried two passengers and also plied the express lane, as against the state government’s executive order. “When the Okada man discovered that LASTMA were still pursuing him, he tried to cross over to the BRT lane, which is always free, so he can escape,” said a witness who did not want to be named. “Unfortunately, the LAGBUS hit him and he died on the spot.”
Immediately the accident happened, bystanders said they called the state’s emergency response lines but the response was not prompt enough to avert the ensuing protest. “I called the 112 number and they answered,” said a witness who gave his name as Johnson. “If they had responded on time, the disaster would not have happened.”
According to Godwin Nwobodo, an Assistant Commissioner of Police at the scene of the incident, the protesters burnt the vehicles when a police team that was trying to maintain order took the motorcycle driver away for medical attention. However, there was no casualty from the incident as passengers, apprehensive of public unrest, had quickly alighted from the two buses, immediately the motorcycle driver was hit. “After the police team took the man to hospital, the miscreants and hoodlums took advantage of their absence to set the buses on fire,” said Mr Nwobodo. “I was even going on another assignment when I saw this and I had to stop to forestall further outburst.” According to him, the motorcyclist did not die, but is currently receiving medical attention. “As I am talking to you now, as of this moment, the man is still alive,” he said, but refused to disclose if any arrest has been made in connection with the event.