There was a mild drama Tuesday at Ajao Estate area of Lagos when a bus driver set himself on fire to prevent officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) from impounding his vehicle.
Witnesses said while the driver was trying to see how he could remedy the situation by begging the traffic officers, one of them forcefully took over the steering wheel from him.
Noticing what was about to happen to him, the commercial bus driver grabbed a Jerry can filled with petrol that was in the bus and emptied its content on himself.
He was said to have brought out a lighter from his pocket and set himself ablaze.
Some of the witnesses said that they heard the driver saying that it was better to die than to live and watch his only means of livelihood taken away from him.
On seeing what was happening to their colleague, other drivers sympathetic to his course converged and started pelting the LASTMA officials with stones.
Soon the drivers were joined by urchins also known as area boys to attack the state government officials.
Other drivers parked their buses and tried to put out the fire on the burning man.
One of the drivers who simply gave his name as Kazeem said the situation caused heavy traffic and pandemonium as motorists abandoned their vehicles while commuters scampered for safety.
He said that the driver was rushed to the hospital,” but I don’t think he will survive the burns. The damage done on him was colossal.”
Another driver simply identified as Wadada, said the LATSMA officials were treating them like slaves.
“They arrest us at any slightest mistake. As they are chasing us like cats pursuing mice, so also motor touts and local government officials chasing us up and down. They extort us without mercy.”