June 25, 2024

Citizens Accountability and Rights Forum: Stakeholders Appeal To Government Agencies To Be Responsible

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Citizens Accountability and Rights Forum: Stakeholders Appeal To Government Agencies To Be Responsible

A resident of Lagos State, Deaconess Funmilayo Adepoju has appealed to the agencies of the Lagos State Government such as the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI,) and the police to give the process of carrying their duties a human face.

Deaconess Adepoju made this appeal at this month’s stakeholders Interactive Roundtable on Public Policy Making And Execution, titled; “Managing Transportation in Lagos As a Mega City; Opportunity & Challenges,” organised by Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in collaboration with Centre for Anti-Corruption And Open Leadership on Thursday May 30 in Lagos.

According to Deaconess Adepoju, whenever members of any of the government agencies are on the road, they oppress the people and that their behaviors are sometimes terribly bad, saying that they always forget that they are also human beings.

She further stated that many of the officers even bear arms, which he said is not good enough.

“Many of them forget that we are all Nigerians. The uniforms they put on make them feel different from other Nigerians,” she stated.

Deaconesses Funmilayo Adepoju

Also sharing his opinion, a Welfare Affair Officer in Oshodi-Isolo area of Lagos, Alhaji Kazeem Sola Fawole, believed that both the road users and the government agents ought to be civil.

“When you look at the number of people around Abule Egba, and Ayobo areas of the state, for instance, you would agree with me that law enforcement agents are trying. Everybody wants to maneuver his or her way to get to his or her destination, therefore, government agents too are sometimes overwhelmed,” he said.

Alhaji Fawole therefore appealed to Lagosians and Nigerians generally to act like Americans and pray for their country, irrespective of what they are currently going through.

Alhaji Kazeem Sola Fawole

Responding to series of questions on the activities of government agencies, a representative of the General Manager of LASTMA, Bankole Oki, Director, Logistics and Engineering, Jubril Adeyemi Oshodi,

Director, Logistics and Engineering (LASTMA), Jubril Adeyemi Oshodi

thanked the stakeholders for their contributions.

According to Mr Oshodi, “we recognise that we are serving the public on behalf of the government. We also know that we have to fulfill the mandates of the work such that the gains of democracy that are continually emphasised as promised by the government come to fruition.”

Oshodi emphasised that LASTMA is disciplined, structured and that its leadership has been dealing with any personnel that goes against the standard operational and operating rules or regulations of the agency.

Speaking about Vehicle Inspection Unit, Head, Planning, Research & Development, Vehicle Inspection Service, Engr. Olumide Olayemi, said that what the agency does basically is about law and that nothing is done outside the law.

Head, Planning, Research & Development, Vehicle Inspection Service, Engr. Olumide Olayemi

“We enforce the law within the law of vehicle inspection services to serve the people of Lagos State by delivering an automated service that would ensure safe road transportation that meets global ambition,” he said.

Engr Olayemi said that it is only in Nigeria that drivers dare vehicle inspection officers.

He stated that some drivers know that their vehicle papers are not complete or have expired yet, they take their vehicles to the road, saying that this does not happen in other climes.

“The agency is equipped with the technology that allows them not to chase vehicle owners about because we have a tracking system, we know the status of every vehicle on the road,” he said.

President, CDHR and Chairman, CACOl, Comrade Debo Adeniran

The President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption And Open leadership (CACOL), Debo Adeniran set the tone for the interactive session.

Comrade Adeniran said that what makes a city ‘mega’ is the population.

“A state is said to be a ‘mega city’ when it has over 10 million people and Lagos boasts of over 22 million people, but is the state zealous about security and safety of the citizens on transportation,” he asked.

Assistant Director, Office of Special Adviser to Lagos Governor, Political, Legislative and Civic Engagement, Adepoju Olusanya

He stated that it is not about how beautiful a state is that matters, but that what makes a state mega is the population, and asked that “what does the manager of a state do to manage the mega population of the state?”

The participants however, frowned at the absence of the Lagos State Commissioner For Transportation, Hon. Oluwaseun Osiyemi, who did not attend the event or send a representative.

Thanking the forum for the opportunity given to the government to respond to complaints and queries from the citizens, the Special Adviser, Office of Political, Legislative and Civic Engagement to the Lagos Governor, Dr Tajudeen Afolabi, represented by Assistant Director in the office, Adepoju Olusanya, stated that the duties of the body is to assist members of the public, especially those with financial challenges.

Olusanya further stated that they deal with politicians irrespective of their political parties.

“We act on protest letters, placards, and banners. We see people who come with these at the State House of Assembly almost everyday, we assist members of the assembly, prepare briefs and submitted them to the governor and do follow-up,” he said.

He added that they interface between the executive and the legislators by attending plenary sessions at the assembly and write reports, recommendations and forward them to the state governor and his deputy for actions.

He implored members of the public to take advantage of the Lagos State ‘Citizens Gate’ App, saying that their complaints, agitations, protests, queries could be channel through it.

“Go to Google store and download it. About 100 MDAs in Lagos State have signed up to the App,” he said.

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