Beggars Batter LASTMA Officials


A few weeks after unruly street traders at Yaba Bus Stop attacked officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, another set of unruly residents, this time, the disabled yesterday stormed the Olowu, Lagos Island office of LASTMA and attacked the officials for allegedly impounding their vehicles.

More than 50 disabled were reportedly involved in the attack on the LASTMA officials.

The angry disabled, P.M.NEWS learnt, stormed the place in about eight commuter buses with crates of empty bottles and other dangerous weapons to vent their anger on officials of LASTMA for impounding their vehicles and depriving them of their means of livelihood.

The incident caused commotion and stampede as shops owners and residents hurriedly locked themselves inside their premises for the three hours the commotion lasted.

The busy Adeniji-Adele Street, Lagos Island, was deserted by motorists and other road users to avoid being caught up in the fracas.

A LASTMA official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the disabled, led by their leader popularly called Balawu stormed their office on the wrong information that some of their buses impounded around Lagos were kept at the LASTMA office on Adeniji Adele Street. He said no bus was detained there.

“At about 9 a.m., the first group of the disabled stormed our office in four buses, singing war songs. They alighted and jumped over the fence into LASTMA premises and started shouting ‘where are our buses.’ They went round the premises but could not find any.

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“They came outside and sat on the ground. The LASTMA officials in charge of the Olowu office, who went to direct traffic at a function at CMS bus stop, quickly rushed down to the scene to plead with them,” he explained.

P.M.NEWS gathered that the Divisional Police Officer at Adeniji Adele station also arrived the scene with his men to maintain peace.

While the police and LASTMA officials were pleading with them, another group of disabled arrived the scene in four buses and their leader, Balawu, allegedly ordered them to attack anybody in sight.

During the fracas, a LASTMA official, Mr. Wasiu Akintunde was stabbed on the forehead while others received injuries. They were rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment.

About eight of the beggars were also arrested and taken to the Adeniji Adele Police Station where they are being detained

—Paul Iyoghojie

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