By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government has vowed that henceforth, it will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute drivers involved in careless and wanton auto crashes that often lead to an inferno, loss of lives and property.
This happened as the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, on Tuesday issued a three-month ultimatum to traders at Ifelodun Plank Market, Demurin in Agboyi-Ketu area of Lagos to put the safety and precautionary measures in place or have the market shut.
Recall that the market was gutted by fire on December 28, 2020, with several properties, worth millions of naira destroyed. In 2013, the same market was razed by fire.
Director-General, LASEMA, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, made the remarks on Tuesday, after a meeting with the Ifelodun Plank Market leaders in Alausa, Ikeja. Oke-Osanyontolu said the agency would be acting tough this year and would carry out lots of enforcement to enforce compliance.
Responding to incessant road carnage by truck drivers in recent times on the state, he frowned at the menace saying, “enough is enough.
“We will be going after the errant drivers henceforth. We will arrest and prosecute to save innocent lives and send a stern warning to others who are fond of such habit.
“We are partnering with the Ministry of Justice for enforcement in a bid to avert avoidable disasters in the state, particularly, this year, 2021.
“The measure is aimed at saving lives and property of innocent residents, as well as serve as a deterrent to others in curbing the menace.”
Meanwhile, on the ultimatum, Oke-Osayintolu said, “We have read the riot act to Ifelodun Plank Market traders, we are giving them 3 months, if there is nothing in place to protect lives and property, we will seal the place and do a proper reconstruction,” he warned.
The LASEMA DG added that the agency was able to review the fire incident that occurred at the plank market a month ago and that LASEMA was satisfied with the result.
“We tried to look at the causes of the fire incident at the market, we look at what happened in 2013 and 2020. We looked at how they need to move to the new plank market and the pandemic ongoing and educate them on how they need to insure their properties. They reasoned with us and said they will comply with us,” he said.
Oke-Osanyintolu added that he was sure Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as a compassionate governor, would look for ways to help the traders financially, urging them to insure their properties.
Alhaji Aliu Bello, Chairman, Ifelodun Plank Market said traders would comply with the decisions of the state government to move to the new plank market once completed.