“Lagos Traffic Law: Evaluating Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Action on Errant Soldier”

By Milcah Tanimu

The recent arrest of a soldier by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for riding against traffic in Lagos has sparked varied reactions. While some see it as a commendable move to enforce traffic laws, others view it as a mere drama or an episode lacking significance. However, a closer examination reveals the broader societal issues of impunity and disregard for laws.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s order to arrest a soldier and other motorcycle riders violating traffic laws on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway is rooted in the state’s traffic regulations enacted in August 2012. The incident brings to light the challenges faced by a society where some individuals, including uniformed officers, display disregard for laws, even at the risk of endangering lives.

The soldier’s insistence on avoiding arrest based on his military status added fuel to the situation. The subsequent viral video featuring a junior military officer hurling abuses at the governor highlights a concerning lack of discipline and order within the military, where civil authority should take precedence.

While condemning the actions of the errant soldier, it is essential to acknowledge Governor Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to upholding state laws. The swift response from the army authority, confirming the soldier’s arrest and condemning his behavior, is a positive step. The chief of army staff expressed that the soldier’s conduct does not represent the entire Nigerian Army, emphasizing the need for proper behavior in different localities.

However, the incident also prompts a reflection on the governor’s approach to enforcing traffic laws. Despite existing laws and subsequent updates, the prevalence of driving against traffic, particularly by government officials, law enforcement agents, and road transport workers, persists. The ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) in specific areas has not entirely curbed their operation.

The advice offered is for Governor Sanwo-Olu to conduct a thorough analysis of the situation and devise effective solutions. Emphasizing total and fearless enforcement of traffic laws is recommended, leaving the responsibility to relevant agencies. The urgency of addressing this issue is paramount for the safety and well-being of law-abiding citizens.

In summary, while Governor Sanwo-Olu’s action against the errant soldier is commendable, a more comprehensive and sustained effort is needed to enforce traffic laws consistently across all sectors of society.


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