The police and other agencies have turned Iponri Bus Stop in Surulere, Lagos into a junkyard for vehicles impounded by them, creating severe problems for motorists and commuters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that driving on both sides of Iponri Bus Stop on the busy Western Avenue has become a nightmare for motorists because of parking of demobilized vehicles at the bus stop by the three agencies.
A check showed that scores of the vehicles were impounded and parked at a section of the bus stop by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
Another section of the bus stop has similarly, been taken over by vehicles impounded by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the police station at Iponri community on the Lagos Mainland.
Most of the vehicles with their tyres deflated, have been parked at both sides of the road for years with additional impounded vehicles joining every day.
The situation has made it impossible for motorists to use the bus stop to either drop or pick people, especially during peak periods.
NAN reports that the parking has narrowed the two-lane road to a single lane on both sides, worsening the traffic logjam at Costain Bus Stop, especially in the rush hours of the morning.
LASTMA and the FRSC have their offices near Iponri Bus Stop and a similar scenario obtains at the police station at Bode Thomas Street also in Surulere.
Some motorists, who spoke to NAN on the parking of the vehicles, lamented that LASTMA, FRSC and the police were compounding the very problems they were expected to prevent.
One of them, Mr Ayo Adesina, said that LASTMA operatives must ensure that their operations did not compound the problems they were expected to solve.
“We thank God for what LASTMA is doing but to speak the truth, parking seized vehicles along the roads and bus stops for days is wrong
“If any vehicle is impounded for flouting traffic rules or any driver has a question to answer with LASTMA, it should not be on the road. It will hinder other users’ right to use the roads.
“I believe LASTMA knows the right thing to do. If there is nowhere to park the vehicles while the owners settle with them, they should allow the traffic offenders to go.”
He warned that clustering bus stops with seized vehicles was dangerous to road users, who commute through the bus stops daily.
Another motorist, Lateef Audu, wondered why law-enforcement agents would choose to park impounded vehicles on roads and bus stops, instead of taking the vehicles to their yards.
“If they (LASTMA) don’t have a place to park vehicles impounded for various offences, they should take fines and allow the offenders to go, instead of impeding traffic flow on Lagos roads.”
A commercial bus driver, who simply gave his name as Joshua said that parking vehicles to pick or drop passengers had become impossible at Iponri Bus Stop.
He pointed that most of the impounded vehicles were seized for trivial offences for which they would have been allowed to go but that overzealous LASTMA, police or FRSC operatives often impounded vehicles in a bid to extort drivers.
The General Manager of LASTMA, Musa Olawale, declined to comment on the matter. He did not respond to calls and also did not reply to messages sent to him on the issue.