KAI is an acronym for Kick Against indiscipline, the agency was introduced by Former Governor Bola Amhed Tinubu, to curb the menace of indiscipline in Lagos state with focus on street Hawking, crossing the expressway, urinating in public places and arresting of people who dumb refuse in unauthorised places.
These officials started very well by trying all they could to reduce indiscipline in the state, but as time went flew, corruption started creeping in and these officials started arresting people unjustly, just for the money.
Sometimes they allege that people cross the expressway instead of making use of the pedestrian bridge, which is sometimes a false accusation.
I happened to witness one of such false confrontations in Ojota area of Lagos, some years ago, when I crossed the road using the pedestrian bridge with a lady, on getting down the bridge, an official of KAI who was on mofti, walked up to her and said she’s under arrest for allegedly crossing the road. As at the time he walked up to her, I had walked past the lady and wasn’t aware of what was happening behind me, as God will have it, I looked back and saw that a little crowd had gathered with the lady amongst them.
I quickly walked back and got to know that the lady was accused of crossing the road, some I had just climbed the pedestrian bridge with. So, I immediately stood for her by saying we both climbed the pedestrian bridge and she never crossed the road. When the KAI official realized how firm and daunted I was, he became ashamed of himself, walked away.
The lady who remained shocked as at the time the KAI walked away, thanked me and also walked away. if I hadn’t recognised her or I didn’t look back that day, she would have been forcefully arrested and made to pay for an offense she didn’t commit.
The worse is that these officers immediately throw their victims into a black Maria, knowing fully well that they never committed the crime being arrested for.
A story was also told of a man in Agege area of Lagos, who was accused of Urinating by the bush along the railway line, I was stunned by the story because there was no notice prohibiting anyone from Urinating in a bush filled with grasses, they would rather have his bladder burst and rushed to hospital than allowing him urinating in a bush. That was the height of wickedness from these people, when they themselves freely Urinate where they choose to.
These officials also forcefully seize goods from road side sellers and make them pay huge sums of money to get their goods back.
If a trader must sell his or her goods along the road side, probably in bushtops like Berger, Oshodi, Ikeja, Ojota, and so many other places, you must register with these officers and pay a weekly sum of 300 and 500 depending on what you sell.
In a place like Berger bus stop, traders who make little profits are to pay the sum of N300 every Friday, which will be documented by one of the officers. While those who make more pay N500 weekly.
If a new trader fails to pay the dues, they will come in their black Maria vans to carry away the goods of the defaulters.
The money collected by these officers end up in the pockets of their bosses, the monies are not remitted into the account of the Lagos state government.
These and many more atrocities are committed by these KAI officers in Lagos state.
I think it’s high time the government did something about it, to avoid a protest or uproar from traders in Lagos state.
The government should also consider building affordable shops for petty traders so as to lift these traders off the roads and bus stops.