The Enugu State Ministry of Transport (MOT) has been called out following a video footage trending online.
The one minute, thirty two seconds (1:32) footage showed how a tricycle operator was manhandled by the personnel of the MOT dubbed traffic control officers.
In the video, one can see about six officers on uniform at the scene of the incidence. Five officers among them were seen manhandling the tricycle operator until he fell to the ground and became motionless.
While he was lying down unconsciously, the MOT operatives tried to tow his tricycle away from the scene.
The incidence, according to eyewitness, occurred in front of First Bank Plc and Bon Sunshine Hotel on the Presidential Road axis.
Reacting, the Enugu State Human Rights Activists called on the State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to call the MOT operatives to order.
In a joint statement signed by the group and obtained by Abacityblog, decried the act demostrated by the MOT, stating that it is capable of inciting mass mob action by the citizens if unchecked in the future.
Part of the statement read;
“Having viewed the video clip repeatedly and closely analysed it, we were further disappointed in the approach employed by these officers who in the guise of managing traffic situation in their bits, end up extorting and abusing the human rights of road users especially commercial transporters.
“To our governor Sir, in a bid to inspire increased confidence in the people of the state, on your unwavering stance on peace and justice, we hereby make the following demands please:
“That the identity and actual offence of the tricycle operator in question be made known to the public through an official statement by the Ministry of Transport (MOT).
“That the health condition of the tricycle operator be monitored closely for now, as it was reliably gathered that he was eventually taken to the hospital for medical attentions.
“That these officers should be identified and punished for highhandedness in their law enforcement.
“That the Ministry should make provisions for signages stating none parking areas within the metropolis rather than leave it to the imaginations of motorists on where and where not to park. It is important we also take to consideration that some of the bus stops sited at some busy areas of the metropolis do not serve all motorists at once hence the need to park elsewhere at that material time.
“That the traffic officers should desist from their selective administration of justice. Let there be a uniformed approach to administering whatever punitive measures arises from a traffic offence.
“That the traffic officers MUST desist from beating traffic lights as they’re not backed by law to break the law at will. Even in the cause of chasing a traffic offender, the traffic laws must be upheld by those enforcing it, else it becomes a damning and hypocritical contradiction,” the group demands.
Enugu State Ministry of Transport (MOT) Traffic Enforcement Bureau was established by the past administration in 2004, through the Road Traffic Law, S.86 CAP 137, Vol. VI Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria, 2004 Enugu State Road Traffic (Approved Traffic Offences, Penalties and Fine) and has been in operation since then.
Its personnel are empowered and saddled with the responsibility to ensure a decent, civilized and effective management of traffic rules and regulations in the state. But due to the increasing urge and tendencies of traffic officers on duty to victimize road users, the guarantee of a refined and robust traffic management system has been scuttled.