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When death becomes penalty for traffic offenders

12 November 2012, 12:52

The Lagos traffic law has somewhat become a horror for being pushed beyond its limits, this leaves me asking a very pertinent question: When did treating people in the most horrendous way become the only means of ensuring that rules are obeyed?

Policemen have suddenly become the accuser, judge and jury in this case and you will wonder when traffic laws became attached to their primary responsibility of ensuring lives and properties are secured.

There was a reported case where an ‘okada’ rider was shot dead at Ilupeju bypass, Lagos by a policeman during the course of this week. As if that wasn’t enough, another policeman shot a bus conductor at Ketu tipper garage just a day after..... All in the name of enforcing the new Lagos State traffic laws. I mean, how exactly do we want be perceived in the world’s eye, that we live like animals? Are we trying to convey a message to them that we only transformed from the military uniform to the civilian regalia on paper because our action denotes that of military?

When did death penalty become the punishment for disobeying traffic laws? I thought education and exposure was to help us think and actively put up effective policies whilst ensuring offenders are properly dealt with without infringing on their fundamental human rights in anyway. Why do the law enforcers derive joy in taking advantage of the power bestowed on them? Why is it that those ruling us think it normal for people’s dignity to be eroded before laws can be effectively obeyed?

The government has not played its role adequately I must say. What measures were put in place to educate these ‘okada’ riders who have now been left with no other means of survival? What alternative is the Government leaving them with? You can’t just ban them and expect that they will become idle knowing fully well that an idle mind is always the devil’s workshop. Some of these men have got mouths to feed as they are the bread winners.

I remember very well my last letter to Governor Fashola asking him to thread on the path of caution knowing fully well that over 40,000{as estimated} able bodied young men having their source of livelihood cut off abruptly could spell danger for the state as a number of them have a high tendency of taking to crime when pushed beyond the limit. Truth is you and I will be the ones at the receiving end when crime becomes rampart in the State. Not to also forget that the year is running to an end which increases the drive of people towards making money at all cost.

That I am pained at how we keep treating ourselves will be an understatement. News such as these leaves a bitter pill in ones mouth. I mean people break laws everyday worldwide and I have learnt over the years that crime is somewhat the nature of man, so why kill people who haven’t threatened the tranquillity of the state in anyway. Even those accused of treasonable felony in other countries remain innocent until proven guilty but in this part of the world, you are guilty unto proven innocent...VERY SAD!!!

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