Chaos As LASTMA Official, Driver Were Beaten To A Pulp

There was pandemonium on Wednesday at the Costain area of Lagos as an official of the Lagos State Management Authority (LASTMA) and a bus driver were reportedly beaten to a pulp.

It was learnt that officials of LASTMA had allegedly apprehended the bus driver at the Costain bus stop, for allegedly violating a traffic rule.

It was said that an argument ensued between the driver, his conductor and the officials. In the ensuing scuffle, a LASTMA official allegedly punched the driver and he slumped.

A mob was reported to have barricaded the road in protest as the driver lay on the floor, foaming in the mouth. The mob reportedly vandalised a LASTMA patrol car which drove into the protesters at the time, beating up the officials.

They were said to have mobilised and also attacked the LASTMA office in the area and vandalised vehicles in the yard before the intervention of policemen from the Iponri division.

A witness, Ibrahim Adisa, told The Punch that the incident happened around 9am.

He said, “We saw that the LASTMA officials held the bus driver at the junction for breaking traffic rule. The man did not release the vehicle to them, which started an argument. The driver and the conductor then started fighting the LASTMA men.

“One of the LASTMA officials put his hand in the pocket and brought out a ring which he used to hit the driver. The man fell and started foaming in the mouth. The officials then took his bus into their yard and left him on the ground.

“A mob barricaded the road and vandalised a LASTMA patrol car that came in that time. They beat up all the officials in the car. After that, they carried the man’s body into the LASTMA’s office and chased out the workers.”

The driver was later taken to a hospital after the police arrived to quell the unrest. A motorcycle rider said the situation would have been worse but for the intervention of the police.

“Traffic was at a standstill and the hoodlums were looking for LASTMA officials or any government official to attack,” he added.

As of 3pm yesterday, no LASTMA official was in sight as police vehicles mounted surveillance.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bashir Braimah, according to the statement, said no amount of violence would make the agency to shy away from its statutory responsibility.