lagos transport

Restoring sanity to Lagos commercial transport sector

Every day for the “Agberos”, but just one for the “danfo drivers”. That’s what Lagos commercial transport drivers, under the aegis of the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria, JDWAN are telling the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led government of Lagos state as they embark on a warning strike.

What’s the story?

Yesterday 31st October, commercial transport drivers in Lagos began a one-week boycott over extortion, harassment, and intimidation of its members by the Lagos Parks and Garage Management committee led by Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo.

A statement issued by the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria decried the unchecked activities of hoodlums, who mostly constitute members of the LSPGC, Lagos State Transport Management Authority, LASTMA, and the Lagos State Police Command, accusing Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of aiding and abetting them, while they unleash financial burden and violence on bus drivers in Lagos. 

“Drivers and commuters have had a brimful of extortion and harassment from the motor park management and caretaker committee thugs known as Agberos. It is also visible to the blind in Lagos that the cost of goods and services is a consequence of Agbero’s extortion, no goods can be delivered, and 95% of working-class residents can be transported without the service of commercial drivers” national leader of JDWAN, Akintude Abiodun said in a statement.

What are their demands?

JDWAN lamented that representatives of the Lagos state government are making matter worse by not looking into the demands raised by the association, and also not doing anything to stop the major factor causing the high cost of living in the state, which the hike in transport fares, is also a contributory factor.

According to reports, the demands of the Association are:

  • Putting a stop to the paying of motor park thugs at every bus stop.
  • Stopping illegal money paid at parks and garages.
  • Putting an immediate end to harassment, and intimidation with guns, cutlass, and broken bottles  by law enforcement agencies like LASTMA, task force, and RRS
  • Building and assigning more bus stops for commercial use to avoid unnecessary arrest by LASTMA officers, for dropping off passengers at existing bus stops, which are known to commuters as the official bus stops. Among others.  

What are the reactions to the development?

As expected, the boycott left many commuters stranded all through yesterday, leaving transport fares skyrocketing. However, if resilience and perseverance were humans, it definitely would have been Lagosians.

But the Agberos would not have their “daily bread” threatened. According to reports by the Punch Newspaper, pockets of Violence were recorded in Badagry, Ojodu Berger and Ijaniki areas of the state. 

JDWAN’s national leader while thanking members for their compliance and residents for their support said the Association has given the Lagos state government 7 days ultimatum to respond to their demands.

Meanwhile, LSPGC chairman, MC Oluomo has debunked claims that bus drivers are being attacked in the state.

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