THE Lagos State House of Assembly has called for caution on the implementation of “Operation Velvet” through which the Nigerian Police and other agencies are checking vehicle particulars and enforcing traffic laws on Lagos roads.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Mudashiru Obasa, who made this known to journalists during the plenary session, said that it was not out of place for the police to collaborate with others to be more effective.
The Speaker explained that the law has to be respected while appealing to the state police command to jettison the issue of particulars now.
“People should be given time to regularise their documents. So many things are included in the operation.
“The law has been in place for many years, why the sudden action. “We want to appeal to the police to give people time to get necessary documents before they talk of arresting people.
“We also want to say that such an opportunity should not be used for extortion and harassment. The Commissioner of Police should take steps to guide against all these,” he said.
Obasa stated Governor Akinwunmi Ambode should direct PWC to start doing palliative measures on the roads in the state despite the fact that there are pressures on the roads.
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He added: “We should not allow potholes to dominate our roads. The contractors handling new roads should speed up their works.
“Where roads that are repaired within six months start having potholes is not good enough. It doesn’t make sense for the roads to go bad within months after repairs.
“People should be given the opportunity to obtain necessary documents. We should computerise the system and know those whose papers have expired without going to the roads,” he said.
Speaking also, The Majority Leader Of The House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade urged the House to call on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of the state to appeal to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Edgal Imohinmi to allow vehicle owners to regularise their documents before the commencement of the operation.
Agunbiade also urged the Assembly to call on the Ministry of Information to inform the people to regularise their documents.
He added that Public Works Corporation (PWC) should begin palliative works on the roads in the state and bring them back to order.
“The declaration of the Nigerian Police and other sister agencies to commence Operation Velvet targeted, as described by the police, at bringing sanity back into vehicular activities in the state to ensure strict compliance to traffic laws by vehicle owners is commendable.
“That all other vehicles exempted from plying BRT roads would be arrested if they do so is also commendable,” he said.
Agunbiade however, said that the directive that documents of vehicles would be checked and the operators of the vehicle would be tried by a mobile court and made to comply was unacceptable
He stated that it takes time to deal with one vehicle and one driver, but that the process would cause hold-ups and traffic congestion and that commuters would be stranded.
“It happened this morning as passengers were stranded. It would have been better if the police declared a time for people to get necessary documents or else it would affect the people.
“We commend them for bringing sanity into the system, but they should give a moratorium to prevent compounding the traffic situation in Lagos State. The Governor should call the state Commissioner of Police to order on the operation,” he said.
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