The Lagos State Government says it will prosecute all persons who were allegedly involved in the vandalism of some of its properties during the Oct. 24 protest by commercial motorcycle operators.
Mr Ade Ipaye, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, made this known on Wednesday in an interview in Lagos.
Ipaye said some BRT buses and other government assets were vandalised by some of the commercial motorcycle operators, who were protesting their being restricted from plying 475 roads in the state.
“I cannot tell you the number, I was just getting the reports that arrests were made, some have already been taken to court.
“But I can assure you that we are determined to ensure that those people face proper legal procedure that should follow such a very, very criminal vandalism of public assets”.
He said it was wrong for the protesters to take the law into their hands to express their grievances against a government policy.
The attorney general debunked the allegations that the police and other law enforcement agencies were arbitrarily arresting commercial motorcyclists who were plying side streets.
Ipaye said a list of the prohibited areas was compiled by the government before the law came into effect, stressing that the agencies were working with that directive.
“The issue whether you are where you should be or not, must be determined by reference to the list.
“And when you are in doubt, you should consult that list. It has been variously publicised, printed by the ministry of information.
“When you are in doubt and you are an operator, in fact, I expect all the unions in that industry to have that list and to circulate it among their members,” the attorney general said.
Ipaye also faulted those criticising the policy on the basis that the government had failed to provide an alternative means of livelihood for the commercial motorcycle operators before implementing the restriction.
He said their operations were only being restricted on 475 roads out of over 9,000 roads, adding also that there were other available employment opportunities in Lagos State.
“If we all don’t respect the laws and we do whatever we can in the name of trying to feed our families, if we take it that for survival you can do anything, then we will not have a civilised society.
“There are various job opportunities out there already existing or being created. Government is spending billions on infrastructure development, people are engaged there.
“So, to say that you must keep what is not desirable or has been determined to be not desirable for us, just to keep some people in employment, I think it’s a logic I cannot understand”.
The attorney general advised the various commercial motorcycle operator unions to caution their members, and desist from further vandalism of government’s property.
He noted that the commercial motorcyclists’ suit against the government over the restriction was already being heard by a court of competent jurisdiction, which would soon deliver its judgement.