Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday condemned Thursday’s traffic jam in Lagos metropolis caused by security operatives who mounted roadblocks in different areas during the visit of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
The traffic jam, which lasted several hours, grounded business activities across the metropolis, especially on Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, Ahmadu Bello Way (both in Victoria Island), Alfred Rewane Road, Awolowo Road (both in Ikoyi), Catholic Mission Street, Igbosere Road and Simpson Street.Thousands of commuters were forced to walk long distances.
Governor Fashola, speaking at a retreat organised for members of the State Executive Council and Body of Permanent Secretaries in Lagos said: “Lagosians were terribly discomfitured yesterday (Thursday) with the traffic jam, needlessly, if I must say. There is the need for public officers generally to be more sensitive to the people we serve.
“It is particularly worrisome because this is not an elected person and I think we all, including the security agencies, must know how they pander to our high officers, especially VIP movement, at the risk and expense of citizens and taxpayers whose money was used to fuel all the vehicles that we used to block the roads against those who pay those money.
“It is an issue that calls for greater sensitivity to the comfort of our citizenry. Yes, I understand the need to protect the VIPs, but it must be done in a way that it doesn’t impoverish.
“It should not get to the level that we shut down the roads in the state because the VIP wants to pass. If they let us know earlier because going through these roads without shutting them down, traffic can be managed. Nigerians respect their leaders elected or not elected and they will very sensibly and gladly yield to them to go and do their business. But I don’t think they deserve to be kept on the roads, standstill for five hours.”