By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN — GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, has charged operatives of the state Traffic Management Agency, ESTMA, to arrest him or the state deputy governor, if their vehicles beat the red lights, saying that “no one is too big to obey laws in the state.”
Speaking at a meeting with officers and men of the agency at Government House, weekend, Oshiomhole charged operatives of the agency to be firm, but civil in carrying out their duties, noting that they must not treat ‘big men’ with levity because of their status in the society.
He said: “You must not extort, you must not criminalise innocent people, you must not let offenders go after extortion. If anybody beats the red light, you must arrest the person, no matter his status. If it’s the governor or deputy governor, you must arrest and interrogate him. The only person exempted from the red light rule is the President or Vice President, when they visit, in which case the road will be blocked for their easy passage.
“So, if you can stop and interrogate the governor for beating the red light rule, no other person is bigger in the state whom you can’t stop. Anybody that contravenes the red light rule, stop him and detain him for at least two hours. Many innocent people have been crushed because someone wanted to contravene the red light rule. This must stop.
“I speak the minds of Edo people when I say that many people have been victims of your very crude and harsh traffic management methods. When you misbehave, as some of you do, people in anger dismiss you as Oshiomhole police. I have no police. In fact, I am one of the few, who have spoken out against state police. I am commended for so many things, but not so many people have commended me for this particular intervention, even as you have come into existence to help control traffic.”