Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has hailed the ban placed on Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIOs on Lagos state roads until further notice by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Media reports on Tuesday had that the Governor of Lagos state had ordered Vehicle Inspection Officers to leave Lagos roads. This was said to be as a result of the public outcry of Lagosians who had been subjected to gross violation of rights and extortions of different kinds by overzealous and unruly officers of the Inspectorate.
The Chairman of CACOL said “we see this step as one that has long been overdue given that the nefarious and extortionist acts of most of the VIOs had been perpetrated on roads for a very long time with government not taking action. They had been frustrating road users and given nightmares on the roads of Lagos”
“They totally, and deliberately too, veer off what constitute their core duties to pursue what is not their within beat. The Inspectorate was established to basically ensure that vehicles are road worthy, but they impound vehicles; harass and extort innocent Lagosians over driving licenses, traffic offenses, seat-belts, tax clearance, LISRA and a whole lot of superfluous issues. They choose any reason they feel is most plausible bare their corruption infected fangs on their victims.”
“The VIOs however are not alone in this; almost all other security and paramilitary agencies, the Police, LASTMA, FRSC, NCS are involved in this corrupt pattern where hapless citizens are brazenly extorted with their rights violated. Most of the officers of these agencies do not carry out their duties for the sake for which they were created because they are constantly motivated by extortionist tendencies.”
“We therefore commend the Governor for taking this bold step. We also agree like the administration has stated that the removal of the officers from the state’s roads should be temporary so as to reposition the whole outfit.”
Adeniran said “the governor has definitely scored another good one with this. He must ensure the ban is enforced so that the relief he seeks to bring to Lagosians via the move will not be un-achievable. We call on him to also look into the activities of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA officers and Task Force Squads set-p by the state government with a view of sanitizing them. There must be training and re-training for all these officers on the best practices as far as their duties are concerned and respect for human rights of citizens.”
Media had reported that Ambode told the VIOs to leave the roads and go on compulsory retraining on the use of modern technology in order to be humane in dealing with the public.’ adding that the VIOs would be back on the road soon.