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Commuters face hard times in Badagry as commercial drivers stay off roads

Some commuters in Badagry and its environs were on Monday morning stranded as commercial bus drivers embarked on an indefinite strike, alleging arbitrary collection of levies from them by officials of Lagos State motor parks and garage management.

A correspondent, who monitored bus stops in Badagry, reports that commuters were seen waiting for buses to convey them to different destinations without success.

At the popular roundabout in Badagry, many residents going to Ojo and other places returned due to a lack of commercial buses to convey them.

Idowu Jimoh, a staff of the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) in Badagry, said he had waited for close to two hours at the roundabout for a bus to convey him to his office in Lagos.

He appealed to the Lagos State government and aggrieved transporters to resolve the issue amicably for peace to reign.

The situation was the same at Mowo bus stop, MTN bus stop, Ibile bus stop, Magbon bus stop, Churchgate and Agbara.

At the Mowo bus stop, tricycles, known as Keke Maruwa, and commercial motorcycles were on ground to convey stranded commuters to their various destinations.

Elizabeth Ojo, a foodseller going to the market, said the tricycle drivers had increased the transport fare by 50 per cent due to the strike by the commercial bus drivers.

Ms Ojo urged the government to meet the people and resolve it before it went out of hand.

Meanwhile, Taofeek Hassan, the assistant secretary of the Joint Drivers’ Welfare Association of Nigeria, said in a telephone interview that commercial bus drivers would not return to work unless the government intervened.

“When the National Union of Road Transport Workers was created, the union was created to represent the commercial bus drivers, but now, things have changed,” he said.

According to him, the park managers were eating fat from commercial drivers working daily but had nothing to show for their work.

“So, we left the road because we didn’t want their troubles. The government should listen to us; we don’t want them on our road again,” he said.

He said the association had given them more than seven days’ notice, adding that they should have resolved the matter before they started the strike.

Mr Hassan urged the commercial bus drivers to sit at home and avoid trouble with the park managers who, he alleged, were moving from one bus stop to another looking for trouble. 

(NAN)

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