Defence & Security

Trouble Looms as Commercial Drivers Decline Payment of New Ticket Levy

By Alex Olise

Trouble is currently brewing at Lagos state following last week’s predetermine arrangement by the state government to take over the collection of revenue of all motor parks in the state, which is believed to be one of the biggest sources to attract more revenue in the state.

The Trumpet gathered that the arrangement has been on many years without success. The state government is, however, capitalizing on the crisis rocking top executive members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) headed by one of the oldest Union member close to virtually all the past Governors, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (aka) MC Oluomo, to introduce the new levy.

Earlier, trouble started between faction loyal to MC Oluomo and that of a very close opposition heading Lagos island simply addressed as Kunle Poly, a diehard unionist.

After their clash, which claimed many lives, the state government wade into the matter and give support to MC oluomo by arresting Kunle poly, who was paraded by the commander Rapid Response Squad (RRS),
Olayinka Egbeyemi, a Chief Superintendent of Police  (CSP) popularly known as the “white lion”.

Egbeyemi, a dreaded police officer was one time the chairman Lagos state taskforce on environmental offences.

while that case was yet to be resolved, another trouble broke out between MC Oluomo and the leader of Trycycle riders simply known as, Istijaba. The crisis claimed the lives of no fewer than 10 persons across the state metropolis. Again, Istijaba was arrested and detained by the Rapid Respond Squad (RRS).

In a swift move to capitalize on all the troubles, the state government outlawed the operations of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state with a view to get other people to run its activities. The government also banned the use of Union uniform by the drivers.

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The erstwhile leaders of the outlawed NURTW were engaged by the state government to run affairs of transport workers in the state. The new leadership therefore, introduced the “consolidated ticket” increasing daily ticket levy of commercial buses plying all the major roads in the state to N800, then print

In reaction, the drivers rejected the payment of the new levy, saying it is unacceptable and amounted to extortion, thereby resulting to tension all over the state.

Currently, trouble brew in the state as no fewer than three persons were feared dead on Tuesday with scores of people injured after disagreement ensued with commercial bus drivers who refused to comply with the new regulation to pay higher fee.

The incident occurred at Lekki highbrow area of the state and it causes serious pandemic resulting in long traffic, which prompted operative of the State Taskforce led by its chairman, Shola Jejeloye, a chief superintendent of Police to move swiftly to the scene of the clash.

It took hours before the situation was brought under control. The same happened at Igando and its environs when large number of youths embark on protest against the Task force operatives for attacking a bus drivers who allegedly drove one way.

A commercial bus drivers who spoke to The Trumpet at Igando said, “This is just the beginning because the commercial buses have suffered serious pains in the hand of the Unions over the years, as the ‘Agberos’ live like lords through the sweat of drivers, who live like Ants. Now that they want to use another system to enslave commercial buses, it will led to serious bloody clashes across the metropolis because the bus drivers are now coming together in one voice. It will be very difficult for the government to handle this, even the Police who know fully well what they experienced in Lagos during End SARS protest.”

Investigation by The Trumpet revealed that the police are trying to be very careful and operatives will not allow themselves to be use to force innocent citizen to pay with their last blood.

A security expert Eze Chike told The Trumpet that the “Lagos state government should find an urgent solution before killings spread across the motor parks.’

As at Thursday many buses refused to work making residents and visitors to the state to pay higher fare due to few buses on the road.

The big bus popularly known as “Molue” among the state residents have embarked on strike thereby making the transport situation in the state get more worse as passengers are stranded across the state.

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