If you are a regular driver in lagos, there are several prayers to pray as you
leave home. “Oh lord, deliver me from robbers on the road today”. “Baba in
heaven, may I not hit anyone and may no one hit me” . “Oluwa o , may pot-holes
not remove my car bumper”. ” I rebuke the spirit of traffic and hold-up
on the road in Jesus name”…..Some of you have even prayed all the four prayers
together. Hehehehe, but brothers and sisters, if you have not prayed for
deliverance from LASTMA (Lagos State Traffic Management Authority), then it simply means you haven’t had a nasty encounter
Don’t get me wrong o. I agree that lagos state should have
some sort of system to ensure smooth flow of traffic and also to punish
offenders, going by the nature of the state and its numerous road network but I
do have a problem with the “modus operandi” of Lastma.
I’ve heard people
say that lastma is nothing more than a recruiting agency for “agbero’s” and area
boys working for the state government and while this sounds somewhat harsh and demeaning,
some lastma officials have proven time and time again that it just might
Recently, Lagos state government decided to do something about
The publication says the personnel were dismissed for various
offences ranging from bribery, certificate forgery and dereliction of
The government said it followed due process in the exercise because
those affected were given opportunities to prove their innocence before a
disciplinary panel but could not convincingly defend themselves.
No fewer than 250 LASTMA officials were also dismissed in 2012 over corrupt acts and other
forms of gross misconduct.
Well asides gross misconduct and massive
corruption, there might just be other reasons why lastma officials were sacked
Quite humiliating abi? These are actually law enforcement
agents embarrassing the nation.
I’ve actually seen worse. I remember a particular
incident on my way home about two years ago. There was a commotion on the road
and when I looked further, I saw two lastma officials brandishing cutlasses with
blood stained shirts. Your guess as to what happened is as good as mine.
Here’s another one……..
Like I said earlier, while I applaud the legitimate role of lastma, I
utterly detest their mode of operation. They’ve been known to hide in street
corners only to swoop or pounce on any suspected traffic offender. Its a common
sight to see lastma officials “lying in wait” as it were, just hoping and
praying that one innocent car will make a U-turn where there’s no “no U-turn”
I personally believe that the law ought to be more “preventive” than “punitive”. The right thing to do would be to disallow drivers from making the turn in the first place
instead of waiting for innocent drivers and pouncing on them at the slightest
I’ve had my own fair share of Lastma rendezvous. It never
really is a pleasant experience. I just concluded a training on this fateful
Saturday and I decided to drive to a couple of cinema’s on the island and see
I also went to pick up my wristwatch from repairs. When I got to
silverbird galleria, a voice ( the Holy Spirit I believe) told me to park my car
at the galleria and take a bike to Saka Tinubu street to pick my watch ‘cos it was
close-by, but I just waved off the thought and drove straight to Saka Tinubu street.
After I picked my watch, I drove straight back to the galleria via
Adeola Odeku street and the roads were so free that I decided to compensate myself for
all the hours I have spent previously in lagos traffic by zooming at full speed.
Unfortunately I didn’t see that the traffic light had gone red ……. and poor me, I was already on full speed. I managed to stop quite alright but before I knew it, lastma officials quickly swooped on me.
What was my offence? Well, although I stopped in obedience to the traffic
light but my front tyres slightly crossed the “finish line”. Then the voice came back to me, “You should have parked your car at Silverbird Galleria like I told you” . Don’t you just hate it when that happens.
Well for me it was too late now. I was already in trouble and to make matters worse, this was the period when Governor Fashola just introduced the new Lagos Traffic law…with all the punishments.
While I was still taking it cool with the lastma folks, trying to sweet-talk my way out of their hands, they immediately blocked my tyres with spikes
and eventually forced their way into my car. What happened next?
Gehn gehn…….Watch out for part two. Hehehehe. Me sef dey watch Nigerian home
Having said that, I do commend diligent lastma officials who are
on top of their game. As a matter of fact, as I blog about this, I just
witnessed about three different accidents around lagos and I applaud the lastma
officials who I saw on ground controlling traffic. Thumbs up guys.
Some even risk their lives just to get the job done……..
…others receive regular slaps especially from female drivers………..
…while others……….well…..others just need to sit up….
Well, I guess all what I’ve been trying to say is that a little professionalism on the part of Lastma wouldn’t hurt.
Photo of the day.
If you think the “Oga at the top” finger started with this guy…..
well, guess again. See who he copied it from…….
and believe me, he’s the real Oga at the top!!!
Thats all for now guys. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stay tuned for more. Remember, “Every man will have his day”
Johnson Madichie is a social blogger based in Lagos, Nigeria and affects the world from there.
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twiiter – @johnsonmadichie
Facebook – Johnson Ifeanyi Madichie
Mobile – +2348055940573.