We work like elephants and eat like ants, We want to see changes within a month — Lagos bus drivers
Members of the JDWAN, the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria, have called off their strike. This announcement was made yesterday at the Lagos State Parks and Garages Management secretariat in Agege by its National Leader, Abiodun Akintade, Chairman, Opeyemi Sulaiman, and General Secretary, Ajimatanarareje Feyisayo.
The trio, along with two others, bemoaned the nefarious activities of boys who demanded money at every bus stop.
According to them, there are approximately 25 bus stops in Orile between Badagry and Alaba where the boys stop to collect money, which they claim robs them of their daily earnings.
“We are working like an elephant and eating like an ant. We appeal to you to look into this,” the group said.
They also complained bitterly about extortion by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA; Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force); and Rapid Response Squad, RRS.
According to them, Taskforce officials do collect as much as N150,000 whenever any of their vehicles was impounded.
They said the union leaders in their various parks left them to their fate anytime security agency arrested them.
“Our branch chairmen are not looking after our welfare and abandon us whenever security officials arrest us. This should not be the case with all the dues they collect from us,” the aggrieved bus drivers said.
Chairman of Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo) immediately set up a Taskforce team comprising 10 branch chairmen, nine members of the JDWAN and other nominees from the Chairman of Committee of Lagos State Parks Administration, Oba Sulaiman Adeshina-Ashade, the Oniba of Iba, to rid the bus stops of those boys.
Akinsanya said the Taskforce has a month ultimatum to clear the mess.
He promised to liaise with the state Commissioner for Transportation and Special Adviser on Transportation to nip the illegal activities of the LASTMA and Taskforce in the bud.
According to him, the highest fine for any erring commercial bus operator is N20,000, describing the N150,000 fine as unacceptable.
“All what you complained about are true and we’ll start addressing them now. We want to see changes within a month. Once the Taskforce we set up here conclude their assignment on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, they will move to Ikorodu Road. My administration will not allow any bus driver to suffer. They work hard and should enjoy their wealth derived from their sweat,” he said.
Akinsanya urged the branch chairmen to live up to expectation by looking after the welfare of their members.