Trouble was said to have started for the traffic agency officials when a car they were pursuing, knocked down a pedestrian as the driver tried to escape from the TIMAAS operatives.
Sources told Pointblanknews.com that the pedestrian sustained severe injuries which angered some passersby. The mob comprising keke operators was said to have been annoyed by the action of the TIMAAS officials who ignored the injured pedestrian and went to arrest the traffic offender.
The keke operators used their tricycles to barricade the road and beat up the TIMAAS officials and burnt their operational bus.
According to eyewitnesses; “The TIMAAS officials were pursuing a driver who drove against traffic, but the driver of the car knocked down a pedestrian while trying to escape from the TIMAAS people. Some keke operators who saw what happened, that the TIMASS officials never cared to check on the injured pedestrian, used their tricycle to barricade the road and beat them and set their bus on fire.”
However, General Manager of TIMAAS, Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikeokwu, said the agency is not deterred by the actions of some elements who have continued to attack its personnel on official state assignment.
He explained that changing an entrenched bad traffic culture in Aba is not an easy job, stressing that motorists in the city are always impatient.
Ikeokwu disclosed that the adoption of the newly introduced Digital traffic lights in the city by the state government has become a challenge to motorists in the city who find it difficult to conform with.
Meanwhile, the Abia state government has warned residents and motorists against attacking officials of the Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State, (TIMASS) who are saddled with enforcing discipline on the roads in the state.
In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Chris Ezem, warned that the law supports TIMAAS to arrest, impound vehicles and tricycles that contravene traffic laws in the State.
He stated that the state government’s attention was drawn to the ugly incident yesterday, at Brass Junction Aba, where TIMAAS officials, who were carrying out their lawful duties were brutalized, assaulted and the operational bus of the agency set on fire by traffic offenders and keke riders in the area.