There was drama at Palmgrove Bus Stop in Lagos State, on Monday when a commercial bus driver stripped to avoid being arrested by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority. The LASTMA officials had blocked five different commercial buses for indiscriminately taking passengers by the side of the road. Passengers in the four vehicles were asked to alight, as officials of the traffic agency took over the wheels of the impounded vehicles. But something happened when the driver, an elderly man, who drove the fifth bus suddenly went inside his bus and brought out a bowl.
According to Punch, a fetid odour emanating from the bowl polluted the morning air. The LASTMA officers, policemen and commuters ran for cover. But one of the officials came back and stood his ground, wielding a baton and insisting that the man must follow them. When it became obvious that the odour strategy failed, the driver began pulling off his clothes, prostrating by the front tyres of the vehicle and rolling on the floor.
A crowd formed around the area, with some of the bystanders capturing the scene with their camera phones. One of the officials was heard telling his colleagues to “leave him alone and let him go.” However, they took close shots of the vehicle number plate, and the driver, before taking other seized vehicles away.
Our correspondent spoke with a resident who said he knew the old man well. He said, “That is how the man usually does. His bus plies Lagos Island everyday and he picks his passengers from that spot.”
The source said the bus was owned by a military officer.
When Punch correspondent approached the old man for comment, he refused to talk. When confronted with the allegation of being a serial offender, he said, “Look, whoever wants to talk should talk. Everybody has his problems and I have mine.”