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Lagos bans governors, others from use of siren

Posted by Mudiaga Affe and Victor Sam on 2008/11/11 | Views: 2056 |

Lagos bans governors, others from use of siren


The Lagos Government on Monday barred visiting governors and top government officials from using siren in the state.

The Lagos Government on Monday barred visiting governors and top government officials from using siren in the state.

The state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, announced the ban in Lagos just as the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike, ordered the naval headquarters to thoroughly investigate the alleged assault on a 27-year-old lady, Miss Uzoma Okere, by some naval ratings in Lagos.

Although Fashola did not attribute the ban to the assault on Uzoma by the ratings attached to the convoy of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade, he however said the use of siren by those in authority was a way of terrorising taxpayers whom they were supposed to serve.

The governor, who does not use siren, added that those who do had “continued to constitute an unacceptable slur on the state’s traffic management system.”

He said, “ I have successfully demonstrated that you need patience and not the siren to negotiate through the traffic in Lagos. I seek the cooperation of all and sundry to demonstrate its benefit, including visiting governors and other public officers.

“Let us all get rid of these nuisance on which we spend millions of our hard-earned money to keep the producers in Europe and America in business while we use it to terrorise the taxpayers who we serve.”

Fashola also announced the ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, in some parts of the state from 7pm.

The affected areas are Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja.

He said that commercial motorcycles had become a major tool for criminals in facilitating their nefarious activities.

He also pointed out that while government recognised the fact that commercial motorcycles had become a major means of transportation in the state, there was the need to strictly guide their operations.

Fashola said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the provision of the Road Traffic Law, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority Law, the Bus Rapid Transit ‘Lite’ Regulation and the Motor Vehicle Registration and Administration Authority Law all regulate the operation of Okada in the state.

“In keeping with my constitutional duties, particularly section 5 (2) (b) of the Constitution, I have given an executive order restricting the movement of motorcycles during certain hours in specified areas, namely Ikeja, Ikoyi and Victoria Island. This will be strictly and rigorously enforced.”

Meanwhile, the CDS, Air Chief Marshall Dike, on Monday ordered that a report on the assault on Uzoma, daughter of the National Assembly’s Seargeant-at- arms, Col. Emmanuel Okere (rtd.), be sent to him in order to ensure that the law was followed to the letter.

Dike, in a three-paragraph statement by the Director of Defence Information, Col. Chris Jemitola, described the incident as ‘embarrassing and worrisome.’

He expressed the regrets of the Defence Headquarters, saying the assault on the lady had brought odium to the military.

The statement reads, “The Defence Headquarters regrets the embarrassing incident involving a naval convoy and Miss Okere in Lagos on Monday, November 3, 2008.

“The incident is more worrisome especially now that efforts are on to change the poor perception the civil populace have of the military.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, has directed Naval Headquarters to carry out a full and thorough investigation into the incident and report to him immediately as he assures all that the rule of law will be fully observed.”

Uzoma was reportedly beaten and stripped to her underwear by the ratings for allegedly refusing to give way to the convoy of Rear Admiral Harry Arogundade on Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The Senate Committee on Navy had on Thursday asked the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Isaiah Ibrahim, to explain the reasons why the ratings assaulted Uzoma.

The Senate committee‘s action was sequel to a petition by the victim‘s father, urging it to look into the matter with the view to bringing his daughter‘s attackers to justice.

The Director of Defence Information had in his initial reaction to the incident claimed that Uzoma provoked the ratings when she allegedly snatched a horsewhip from one of them to beat him.

But Uzoma, at a press conference in Lagos on Sunday, said the naval spokesman was being economical with the truth.

But an associate of Arogundade, Mr. Lanre Osodi, who claimed to have been with the Rear Admiral when the case was reported to him claimed that Uzoma confirmed to the senior officer that she snatched a rating’s horsewhip.

Already, Uzoma has sued Arogundade and the naval ratings for the alleged assault, demanding N100m. She has been offered free legal counsel by the Lagos State Government.

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