The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority has urged Nigerians to disregard a viral video on social media showing its officers in an operational vehicle being accosted by a private motorist from driving against traffic.
The General Manager, Bolaji Oreagba, made this known on Saturday.
The video, which went viral on Twitter and Facebook, showed an angry motorist lambasting the LASTMA officers for violating a traffic rule they were employed to enforce.
The private motorist was also heard ordering the officers to reverse the vehicle as he hurled insults at them.
The Lagos State task force in collaboration with the state Ministry of Justice had on Thursday auctioned 134 vehicles forfeited for traffic offences in the state.
Some motorists were seen at the venue of the auction wailing and appealing for mercy as their vehicles were sold to interested buyers.
But Oreagba said the video was “deployed” to embarrass its personnel as the officers involved in the incident, which he said occurred in 2020, were identified and sanctioned.
He also said the patrol van, with registration No. RTM 08 LA (Zone 25 Bariga), seen in the viral video was among its operational vehicles burnt along with its office building by #ENDSARS protesters at Iyana-Oworo, Lagos.
“The attention of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has been drawn to a viral video on ‘Twitter’ (@OmoGbajaBiamila) where our officers, who drove against traffic (one-way) with an operational vehicle (RTM 08 LA Zone 25 Bariga), were blocked by a private vehicle on the Oworonshoki bridge, Lagos.
“The agency hereby states categorically that the video incident occurred in 2020 before the #ENDSARS protest around Iyana-Oworo. All officers involved have been appropriately sanctioned by the authority,” the GM was quoted in a statement as saying.
“The agency, therefore, urges members of the public to disregard the video that was deployed to embarrass our team of hardworking officers. LASTMA will continue effective monitoring and control of traffic across the State, just as it will not condone indiscipline among any of its personnel,” he added.