The proposed seven-day warning strike, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, October 31, 2022, according to the Lagos State Chapter of the Joint Drivers Association of Nigeria (JDWAN), remains sacred.
At a news conference held at the Right’s House, Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos State, the joint drivers announced this.
Drivers of cars, T4, LT, Ford, Mazda buses, federal mass assisted transit coaster buses, mini-buses (Korope), and coaster buses are anticipated to take part in the strike by pulling their vehicles from Lagos roads for a week.
Ayo Ademiluyi, the lead counsel for the drivers, said during a press conference that the strike action was required to protest repeated acts of extortion and violent harassment by members of the Lagos State Parks and Management Committee, led by Musiliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, and state law enforcement agencies.
He claims that regardless of whether they are picking up or dropping off passengers, the drivers lose more than half of their money to the motor park guys as a result of the outrageous charges in the garages and bus stops.
He objected to the creation of the parks and garages committee, claiming that this was against the law.
The National Leader of the Association, Comrade Akintade Abiodun, stated in his speech that the multiple levies on the joint drivers by garage boys and law enforcement officials have caused an increase in the price of food items in Lagos compared to other states because garage boys and touts who set up road blocks on Lagos roads to extort the drivers heavily tax consignments into the state.
Ajimatanrareje Feyisayo, the association’s general secretary, described one of the unpleasant experiences drivers have at the hands of garage boys and touts. He recalled how a driver named Ademola Anisere was severely hurt and his car was damaged by garage touts in Badagry about a month ago for failing to pay the early morning levies at one of the bus stops.
Anisere was allegedly attacked by some garage touts as he was leaving his house to pick up passengers. Despite his repeated cries that he was only beginning his day’s work, they ignored him and beat him until he was completely unconscious. His car was also damaged.
He said, ‘’70% of our daily earnings go to the coffers of garage boys and touts. From Badagry to Mile 2, we pay between N3,500 and N5,000 at 25 illegal tolls created by motor park hoodlums, who collect from N200 to N300 per bus.
‘’From Seme Park, we pay N7,100 before the first trip, yet, we forcefully pay levies at the 25 illegal tolls. On federal mass and Coaster buses, we pay N12,000 and above on each trip from Oko-Afo to CMS which includes loading charges at various bus-stops.
‘’From Ogijo to Ikorodu, we pay N5,500 and above excluding garage ticket (N850), chairman ticket (N1,700), King’s levy (N200), Ita-Oluwo (N500), Ile-Epo-Oba (N200) and N900 for picking or dropping passengers.
‘’… buses from Ikorodu to Oshodi pay N5,000 while buses plying Yaba to Ikeja, Ketu to Oyingbo and several other areas are forced to pay beyond their nose to avoid their vehicles being damaged.
‘’To make the matter worse, the garage boys and touts have the backings of the state government to unleash terror on innocent drivers. We are the professional drivers but garage boys and touts are making life unbearable for us. They are usually on the road with sticks, rods, pipes and cutlasses to snuff life out of innocent drivers.”
Opeyemi Sulaiman, the state Chairman of the association, called on the government to consider the yearnings of the drivers before it is too late.
‘’We are professional drivers, garage boys and touts are not licensed but are battle ready to cause chaos on the roads. We have reported them to the state government on several occasions but nothing was done,’’ he said.
The demands of the drivers, according to Ademiluyi include: Scrapping of unlawful levies across the state other than that of the state government, the state government to present a proof that the parks and garages committee is backed by the law and creation of more bus-stops for Lagos transporters apart from that of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).