Some hoodlums took laws into their hands yesterday at Maryland area of Lagos State, destroying over 20 BRT buses belonging to the state government.
The hoodlums who were armed with dangerous weapons were said to be avenging the death of a road hawker allegedly knocked down by a BRT bus.
The incident caused traffic on the road and sent passengers running for their dear lives.
An eyewitness told Nigerian Pilot that it took the intervention of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, to calm the riotous scene.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said that contrary to the information being circulated in the social media that the street hawker was hit by a BRT bus, it was a truck belonging to a soft drink company that unfortunately hit the boy.
“It wasn’t any of our buses that killed him (hawker); it was a soft drink company truck that unfortunately crushed the boy while he was trying to escape from KAI officers who were on patrol trying to rid the street of street hawkers and traders.
“But hoodlums now took advantage of that to start destroying government assets, including several of the brand new BRT buses,” he said.
Ayorinde said it took the intervention of a team from the RRS to quell the riotous scene caused by the hoodlums before the corpse of the boy was taken to the morgue at the General Hospital, Ikeja.
The commissioner said that at least three hoodlums alleged to have been part of the mob that destroyed the BRT buses had been arrested, saying that the law would take its full course.
“The Lagos State government would like to use this opportunity to further reiterate that it would not relent in ridding the state of illegality, street trading and hawking,” he said.
Ayorinde said that Section 1 of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003 restricts street trading and hawking in the metropolis while Sections 7 and 8 of the same law gives jurisdiction and power to the special court to order the seizure and public auction of items impounded from street traders.
Section 10 of the law, he said, also prescribes a N5,000 fine or three months imprisonment upon conviction.
“Street traders are hereby urged to desist from this illegal activity because the government will not be blackmailed and would do that which is necessary.
“And for the miscreants and hoodlums, the Lagos State Government and the Police Command would not allow any act of civil disobedience and those arrested would be dealt with in accordance with the law and further arrests would be made as investigation continues,” he said.

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