..LAWMA fumes as motorist crushes street sweeper to death, one other injured
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Traders and buyers have expressed worry over the indefinite closure of popular auto spare part mart, Ladipo Market, in Mushin Local Government Area of the state.
Recall that Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, had earlier warned market operators against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages, highways and undesignated places or faced sanctions, ranging from closure of the market.
The Lagos State Government, through the state Waste Management Authority LAWMA, had shut the market over alleged repeated violation of the environment despite several warnings against indiscriminate dumping of junk auto parts
Confirming the closure, Assistant Director of Public Affairs for LAWMA, Hakeem Akinleye, maintained that the measure became necessary Inorder to prevent outbreak of diseases amid COVID-19 spike and possible cause of flooding.
He lamented that the deplorable state of the environment within and around the market was appalling, unacceptable.
According to LAWMA, the market would remain shut until the traders signed undertaking to keep the area clean at all time and abide by all the environmental laws that were put in place to protect the environment and residents.
LAWNA, therefore, appealed to other markets and business centres in Lagos to shun indiscriminate dumping of refuse and other related environmental offences to avoid inflicting pains in residents.
“The infractions could not be overlooked due to flagrant acts of improper waste disposal that could aid an outbreak of disease across the state,” Akinleye stated.
He assured residents of Lagos State of commitment in enforcing all environmental laws by ensuring sanitation law defaulters were adequately penalised for their actions to serve as a deterrent to others fond of committing the offence.
Traders, customers lament
Meanwhile, a trader in the market, Okechuckwu John, a spare part dealer, lamented that he has lost millions of naira to the closure as he could not open for business.
He however, denied been served prior notices as claimed by LAWMA.
“I just restocked my wares few days ago hoping to recoup my money from the profit only for officials of Lagos State Government to shut our businesses.
“I’m not aware of any prior notice over environmental degradation. We appeal to Goverrnor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to our rescue by reopening our market. We are ready to comply with their directive.”
Also, a mechanical engineer, popularly called mechanic, Kazeem Atobatele, expressed displeasure when he got to the market to meet it shut, saying, “this is the only market where I buy auto spare part for my customers. Lagos State Government should find a way of applying sanction on the defaulters rather than padding it to innocent buyers, and other people who patronise this market for one transaction or the other.”
Street sweeper crushed to death
Meanwhile, LAWMA has threatened to prosecute any driver who carelessly hit, leading to death of street sweeper while on duty.
Akinleye, gave the warning while reacting to death of a street sweeper, last Thursday in Lagos.
According to him: “The attention of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has been drawn to an unfortunate incident, which occurred early Thursday morning, at exactly 7.45 a.m, in which a motorist knocked down one of our sweepers, who regrettably died, while another sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.
“The authority is deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident and commiserates with the family and loved ones of the deceased sweeper.
“We pray that God gives them the fortitude to bear the irreparable and sad loss, while praying that the other sweeper in the hospital will speedily recover and may God spare her life.”
The authority would like to use this medium to admonish and appeal to motorists, to exercise maximum care while driving on our roads, pay attention to the sweepers, be conscious of their presence and give them the right of way.
“The authority will not hesitate to prosecute any driver, who willfully or otherwise, knocks down or cause bodily harm to any of our sweepers, while carrying out their legitimate duties of ensuring that our environment is kept sustainably clean, so that we all can have a healthy living.
“Lives of our sweepers, who are our heroes, are most valuable to us and we will do everything humanly possible to protect and safe guard them at all times.”
However, he said that the motorist in question had turned himself in to a nearby Police station.