There was drama at the Palmgrove Bus Stop, when a commercial bus driver stripped n3ked 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.
There was however drama when the old man who drove the fifth bus suddenly went inside his bus and brought out a bowl. A fetid odour emanating from the bowl polluted the fresh 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 had 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, who did not identify himself, added that it was the second time the man would put up the show.
He said the bus was owned by a military officer. When our correspondent approached the old man for comment, he refused to talk. When he was, however, 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.” He drove the vehicle into a filling station.
Attempts to speak with LASTMA proved abortive. An officer who spoke with our correspondent on the telephone said he was not disposed to comment and referred him to another senior officer, who equally declined comment.