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"Arrest Illegal Passengers On Trains," Lagos Assembly Tasks Police

The Lagos State House of Assembly has instructed the men of the Nigerian police as well as other uniformed men in the state to henceforth arrest and detain those considered illegal passengers hanging on trains in the state.

"Arrest Illegal Passengers On Trains," Lagos Assembly Tasks Police

These illegal passengers, according to the House, include those who hang or stand on top of the couches of the trains.

The House said this had become worrisome, wondering why the passengers would continue to damn the risks involved in the dangerous practice of jumping on trains while they are in motion or even hanging on such trains.

The issue was discussed Monday during plenary after six of the members including Bisi Yusuf, Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Bashir Oloto, Yinka Ogundimu, Lanre Ogunyemi and Kabir Lawal, moved a motion against what they described as the unwholesome practices of some of the passengers of the train.

Ogunyemi told his colleagues that the situation now calls for concern following several avoidable deaths that have resulted from the careless attitude of some of the passengers.

While lamenting the situation, Ogundimu, who represents Agege Constituency 2 at the House, told his colleagues that they would understand the situation if they witnessed it first hand.

He said the crowding of trains are more serious at peak periods and he pleaded with his colleagues to support the motion in order to reduce accidents that result from jumping on trains.

He said he understood that because of the population of the state, the demand for means of transportation had surpassed supply, but added that the people cannot take to illegality.

"The road transportation alone cannot solve the problem of Lagosians. There must be alternative means of transportation in Lagos state," he added.

His colleague in the House, Suru Avoseh, said he was shocked the first day he saw the passengers on top of the coaches of a train.

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"I don't know why people would willingly want to kill themselves. Somebody should not be told the danger of standing on coaches.

"It is just an excuse that they want to beat traffic and get to work early," he lamented, adding that the House must make things right and ensure the law is enforced.

Jimoh said he conducted an independent survey on the activities of the illegal passengers and some of them told him that they derive pleasure in it while others said they do not have money for transportation and thus resort to taking the short cut.

"The law enforcement agents are not also helping matters. I saw some of them guilty of this.

"Even in the time of colonialism, this did not occur. So we must do something urgently to curb this menace."

His colleague, Rotimi Olowo said that last year one of the passengers fell from one of the coaches and died, adding that the police immediately began arresting those flouting the law.

He however said the police stopped suddenly.

"We need to also call the police to order. It is agreed that there’s a problem with transportation but the Nigerian Railway Corporation should be able to give information on the departure and arrival time of trains.

"The NRC should be able to carry out a research on the number of passengers, the demands and the requirements to meet the supply," he added asking that officials of the state traffic regulation unit, LASTMA, should complement the efforts of the police in this regard.

Golahan Yishawu, in his contribution, said: "There's nowhere you don't have train accidents, but if you look at the frequency in Nigeria, it is high.

"Most of the accidents here are caused by human error. We are always in a hurry and it is the duty of government to stop the people."

He said barriers along the railway line should be monitored and blocked at least 10 minutes before trains arrive and urged the Federal Government to speed up the signalling system of the trains.

Mudashiru Obasa and Ipoola Omisore urged the Federal Government to adjust every law that does not allow for development in the country.

"The Federal Government should co-operate with states for efficient transportation," Obasa said.

Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, Lola Akande, Deputy Speaker Taiwo Kolawole and the House Leader, Ajibayo Adeyeye, described the practice as criminal and asked the law enforcement agents to go after the perpetrators. This was adopted by the House.

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