Lagos Threatens To Arrest, Prosecute Community Leaders Over Illegal Closure Of Street Gates

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The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) over the weekend warned landlords and various Community Development Associations (CDAs) to immediately comply with government regulations directing that all interlink roads must be accessible on a daily basis across the state.

The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr. Bakare Oki Olalekan, disclosed that those acting contrary to street-gate regulations were posing a great security threat to the government’s resolve to achieve a safe and secure environment. They are advised to desist from the unwholesome acts, Adebayo Taofiq, LASTMA Director of Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the statement, Oki disclosed further that the policy on street gates was meant to enable easy access for residents and all road users in the state, noting that the act of denying motorists and pedestrians access through the various community gates before the stipulated time is totally unacceptable to the state government.

“Traffic officers have been facing serious challenges in diverting motorists to alternative routes through nearby streets because these streets are gated,” the statement said.

The General Manager stressed that the illegal closure of gates, some of which are feeder roads to connect highways, also “contributes to the activities of criminally-minded individuals who indulge in dispossessing residents of their belongings, thereby making it difficult for security agencies come to the rescue of victims or apprehend the perpetrators”.

The act of partial or permanent closure of gates in violation of the regulations of the state affects businesses encourages miscreants to take advantage of residents and get away with their belongings and in case of fire outbreak the community affected will not be easily accessible by the Rescue teams,” the statement said.

Oki stated that non-conformity with government directives on the closure of estate/street gates might lead to issuing warrants of arrest and prosecution of representatives of non-complying communities, where necessary.

He added that activities of the affected communities had further contributed to vehicular traffic in those restricted areas where roads leading to the closed gates were inaccessible to the motoring public.

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