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Lagos Commercial Bus Drivers To Go On Strike On 31st October 2022, How is your Area

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The commercial drivers of Lagos State have threatened to go on a seven-day strike over the alleged extortion and harassment they have been experiencing from the management of parks and garages in the state. According to them, they have been subjected to indiscriminate and violent harassment.

In a statement issued by its National Leader, Adebayo Abiodun, and Chairman, Opeyemi Sulaiman, the association stated that it would hold a protest on Monday, October 31, to mark the implementation of its earlier instruction. The drivers had expressed their concerns about the increasing number of extortion and violent harassment they have been experiencing at the hands of the management of the state’s transportation agencies and the caretaker committee of the Lagos State government.

The drivers stated that they have been subjected to extortion and harassment by the management of the parks and garages in the state. They noted that the high cost of transportation in Lagos has caused the state’s cost of living to increase. Besides that, the illegal tolling and excessive charging of motor parks have also affected commercial drivers’ earnings.

The drivers have been sentenced to various forms of harassment and extortion by the management of the state’s transportation agencies, including the Lagos State caretaker committee and the motor parks and garages. They noted that they have lost about half of their earnings due to illegal tolling and extortion. At every bus stop where they drop off their passengers, they are charged high fees. Some routes have 25 bus stops that are used as illegal tax collection points.

The drivers have requested the public’s indulgence in going through the details of the extortion they have been experiencing. For instance, from Badagry to Mile 2, they are charged N3,500 and N5,000 respectively for tolling and ticketing. They are also subjected to the illegal collection at various bus stops along the highway. In the morning, the hoodlums at the Seme park collect N7,100 before loading their buses.

On Federal Mass & Coaster, the drivers get paid over N12,000 on every trip from Oko Afo to CMS or Oyingbo, which includes illegal payments at various bus stops along the way. From Ogijo to Ikorodu, they are charged over N5,500 daily. They also pay N900 for passIng if they pick up a passenger. On top of this, they are subjected to extortion and harassment at the hands of the management of the parks and garages.

At the Ikorodu roundabout, the drivers are charged N1,000 for tolling and N500 for ticketing in the morning and afternoon. At Benson Bus Stop, they are charged N900 for a day, while at the Agric Bus Stop, they are charged N200 to 8 hoodlums for collecting Agric tax.

When we stop at the agric bus stop to pick up passengers, we are charged an extra N300, which is not included in the N1,600 welcome to agric tax. When we reach the Aunty Kenny bus stop, we pay N200, which is the equivalent of buying a Lagos state ticket. At the Ogolonto bus stop, we are charged N100, while at Mile 12, they are charged N500 for the service lane and N1,000 for the expressway.

On the way from Mile 12 to Ojuelegba, the red coaster buses are charged N1,500 while those from Ikorodu to Oshodi charge N5,000 daily. At the Ketu bus stop, the drivers are charged between N600 and N1,000 depending on the size of the vehicle they use to drop off or pick up passengers.

For buses that ply the route between Yaba and Ikeja, we pay N200 at the Jibowu bus stop, N100 at the Fadeyi bus stop, N200 at the Elediye bus stop, N200 at the Palmgrove bus stop, N200 at the Anthony bus stop, and N200 at the Ikeja bus stop. On our way back to Yaba, we pay N500 at the Palmgrove, N500 at the Onipanu, and N800 at the Lasg bus stop.

Every day, the drivers are charged N2,000 for the afternoon and evening, which translates to a total of N7,300. Korope drivers who operate from Iba-Okoko to Agbara pay N5,000 daily to the operators of motor parks without the presence of the Lagos Task Force and LASTMA. When they resist extortion, they are arrested and given N10,000 bail.

In addition to providing for their own entertainment, the drivers of Lagos also pay for various levies, such as security, food, and the unit chairman’s food, with the threat of violence if they refuse. This is the same type of exploitation commonly used against labourers, such as “baboon dey work” and “monkey dey chop.” The urchins who are employed by the motor park workers take a huge chunk of their earnings.

The drivers are also not able to meet their contractual obligations due to the high cost of living and harassment by the management of the parks and garages. They are demanding that the operators of the parks and garage should not charge them three passengers for every bus.

They also want the only ticket in Lagos to be the Lagos State government ticket. The management of the parks and garages and the caretaker committee of the state government are not acceptable to the drivers in the state. They are also demanding that the illegal money collected after they leave the parks and garages be immediately abolished.

The drivers are also fed up with the harassment and violence by the management of the parks and garages and the law enforcers. They are asking the authorities to stop collaborating with and hiring thugs to carry out attacks and extortion on them. Most of the bus stops in Lagos are designated for the use of commercial vehicles, and the drivers are arrested whenever they drop off or pick up passengers at these stops.

The drivers are also demanding that the state government provide proper bus stops in each community in order to avoid arrest and stress for commuters. This will help minimize the incidence of harassment and arrests.

The failure of the authorities to address the various issues affecting the drivers’ welfare will only lead to more protests and total boycotts. The Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN) is working towards ensuring that the demands are met through peaceful means.

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