Stop this sponsored assault on democracy

SIR: The attention of the Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) has been drawn to the report in the media of the assault on the constitution, public peace, safety and democratic rights of the government and people of Lagos State on Thursday, February 12, 2015 by some agencies of the Federal Government including (FERMA) whose men and women in black unconstitutionally undermined public safety of Lagosians by taking over the control of traffic on some roads in Lagos after assaulting the personnel of agencies, especially LASTMA which are constitutionally empowered to manage traffic on Lagos roads.

   This recurring assault on the constitution, invitation to anarchy, threat to public safety and democracy by this men and women in black, unknown to the law, but who are accorded Federal Government cover through police protection is the height of lawlessness and impunity and must be condemned.

  We recall that these illegal groups of men and women in black have repeatedly unleashed violence on constitutionally established traffic agencies like the Police, LASTMA, journalists and the motoring public without provocation and till date, the continuous violation of the constitution by these illegal groups and their sponsors are yet to be met with the full wrath of the law which has further emboldened them to continue in their nefarious activities. 

   We are also aware that the danger to public peace, safety and democracy by federal agencies in Lagos State has been taken to an obnoxious level with the illegal and indiscriminate placement of bill boards and painting of road kerbs in green and white in violation of international standardized and constitutionally recognised national road colour code of white and black or yellow and black. 

  This is a violation of global best practices and our National Highway code, by the Federal Authorities who have descended so low as to debase our national colours to put the lives of the motoring Lagos public in danger. The indiscriminate placing of advertisements on the roads and highways in the state without regards to the laws and regulations guiding such placements, bearing in mind that placements of bill boards are subject of regulation to avoid environmental nuisance, degradation, public disorder and ensure that the safety of road users are not compromised, is illegal. 

  The (CPPM) condemns in strong terms this despicable and unconstitutional invitation to chaos, impunity, assault to public peace, safety and democratic activities of federal agencies including (FERMA) in Lagos State and demands an immediate halt to these.

   Specifically, there should be:

• immediate halt to acts of lawlessness and impunity by federal agencies in Lagos State;

• immediate dislodgement of the illegal group of men and women in black who are a threat to public peace, safety and order;

• immediate arrest and prosecution of the sponsors of the men and women in black for assault of the constitution;

• monetary compensation by the Federal Government to LASAA and operators of outdoor advertising in Lagos State for the economic loss suffered as a result of termination of advertisement contracts;

• unreserved apology to the government and people of Lagos State for the assault on their sensibilities and democratic rights; and

• a wake-up call to the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State command and other security agencies to be alive to their constitutional duties of maintaining law and order.

• Nelson Ekujumi,

Executive Chairman, Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM), Lagos



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