Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has urged the Nigerian Army to obey the state Road Traffic Law, saying since roads are shared assets, everyone is expected play their roles in managing them.
Fashola said the army should be part of a concerted effort to promote a culture of safety and healthy commuting on roads in the state.
The governor spoke at an interactive session with senior army officers and heads of army formations in Lagos on the law at the 81 Division auditorium, Onikan.
He said, “As a youngster, I took public buses on trips round the state. Now, many of the military officers here will hesitate to allow their children to ride in such public buses for safety reasons.
“In several democracies worldwide, the military have been responsible for fashioning democracy. George Washington was formerly a soldier before becoming an elected President.
“Even in Nigeria, the military gave the nation its present democracy. So, there is a need to have a sustained partnership to keep the democratic experience going and this can only happen in a situation where the rule of law prevails.”
The governor said traffic in the state could be predicted and where there were snarls, patience by drivers and other road users could ensure sanity on roads.
He said, “But from the time when somebody tries to jump the queue or use the siren to drive all of us away, you need to look behind you and see what happens afterwards. Once you have gone, everybody is struggling to follow you.”
Fashola said part of the options embraced by the government to solve traffic congestion in the state was the Bus Rapid Transit scheme which sought to make use of buses to convey more people and reduce the number of cars on the roads.
The General Officer Commanding of the 81 Division, Major-General Kenneth Minimah, said the military would conform and also champion enforcement of the law.
He said, “There is no reason why the new traffic law should not work. The military formations will go beyond just obeying the law but take part in enforcing it since it is a legitimate law of the state that has passed through the necessary processes before becoming a law.”
Minimah added that military officers were expected to obey the laws of the state, saying if soldiers obey the law, it will be difficult for any other group to disobey it.