By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Evelyn Usman, Bose Adelaja & Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS — Commotion broke out at the old Toll gate area on the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, Thursday, following the death of an unidentified bus conductor of a commercial bus, who was crushed to death by another vehicle coming from behind while allegedly trying to evade arrest by officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.
In a swift reaction, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, who described the incident as regrettable, however, denied the involvement of LASTMA, saying, he had ordered immediate investigation into the incident with the aim of bringing the culprit(s) to book.
Commercial bus drivers, who took to the streets, protested the killing of the conductor.
The protest which spread to different areas of the state, forced most LASTMA officials to pull off their uniforms as those seen in theirs were attacked by hoodlums, who hijacked the protest.
There were different accounts of how the trouble started.
A version of the report said a Vanagon commercial bus with number plate XZ 76 AGL, which drove against traffic was ordered to stop by LASTMA officials at Toll gate end of the expressway.
But driver of the bus was said to have ignored the directive and attempted to move. In the process, his conductor, who was hanging on the bus was allegedly pulled down by one of the LASTMA officials and was rammed over by an on coming bus. The conductor identified simply as Ilorin died instantly.
Another account had it that driver of the bus stopped to pick passengers when he was stopped by LASTMA officials. The conductor was reportedly flung out of the commercial bus in the driver’s attempt to escape arrest by officials of LASTMA said to be chasing him.