Lagos drivers, under the aegis of the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria, have cried out, alleging continued attacks on its members and the seizure of buses allegedly by the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority.
JDWAN, in a statement made to our correspondent on Wednesday, signed by its National Leader, Abiodun Akintade, noted that it was awaiting the response of the Lagos government on its demands regarding alleged extortions by the motor park management committee in the state.
“While we await the Lagos State Government to fulfill its promises to stop extortion and violent attack on commercial drivers after the recent drivers strike, Yesterday (Tuesday), November 8, 2022, one of our members, a Mazda bus driver named Samson Adewunmi was attacked at Volks bus stop by Lagos State caretaker committee members formerly known as the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, on his way to mile 2, around 7am in the morning over N500 illegal extortion.
“His windscreen was broken, he was beaten and macheted, which left two deep gashes on his head, currently in coma at the hospital and we hope he survives it,” JDWAN stated, sharing a gory picture of Adewunmi with several injuries of on head.
JDWAN also alleged that 50 buses belonging to its members were seized on Wednesday by LASTMA over a new yellow bus policy.
“This morning, Wednesday, November 9, 2022, LASTMA seized over 50 of our buses because of the new yellow bus policy which came to public notice three days ago.
“We wonder if this is part of the new transport reform or Lagos commercial drivers demanded during the seven day strike. Where will drivers suddenly get money to paint their buses amidst the current extortion and violent attacks in Lagos? Could it be that the drivers demands must have irked the state government so much that their first line of action is remembering an expensive law that would further increase the sufferings of drivers and commuters in Lagos?” it queried.
“Without the extortion and violence, painting a bus in three days would have been feasible for drivers.
“A sensitive government would have given three months notice before implementing such law that would cost drivers almost 200 thousand naira to comply with,” it added, imploring the Lagos state government to quickly accede to the demands of drivers.
“Arrest and publicly prosecute the violent ‘agberos’ (hoodlums) that attack us daily. Stop the extortion at every bus stop and give the poor drivers some time, at least, three months notice to paint their buses,” the statement concluded.
The PUNCH reports that drivers in the state had embarked on a seven-day warning strike to protest alleged extortion and harassment by motor part committee members.
When contacted over the issue of issue of seized buses, the LASTMA Public Relations Officer, Adebayo Taofiq, promised to get back to our correspondent.