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Bus Drivers Embark On Protest Strike

Posted by By Paul Iyoghojie on 2008/08/11 | Views: 1328 |

Bus Drivers Embark On Protest Strike


Commuters who ply the Oyingbo-Costain-Mile 2-Okokomaiko route, along the Lagos-Badagry expressway, have been passing through harrowing experiences, following the strike action by Coaster Bus Drivers’ Association, since last Tuesday.

Commuters who ply the Oyingbo-Costain-Mile 2-Okokomaiko route, along the Lagos-Badagry expressway, have been passing through harrowing experiences, following the strike action by Coaster Bus Drivers’ Association, since last Tuesday.

The association’s strike action bordered on alleged barbaric activities of touts believed to be members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who incessantly attack, maim and brutalise their members.

They also alleged vandalisation of their vehicles for refusal to pay an arbitrary fee of N300 at the 42 bus stops dotting the Oyingbo-Okokomaiko route.

Other illegal levies they were mandated to pay, according to a member of the association, include ‘chairman’s fee’ (N200), loading fee (N200) and ‘money for the boys’ (N200). This is said to be separated from the N300 compulsory daily fee in 39 out of the 42 bus stops.

The incident that led to the present drivers’ strike action, according to P.M.News source, was the attack on a driver simply called Ade, and his conductor, at Iyana-Iba, on Tuesday, by fierce-looking motor touts.

They allegedly attacked the duo with broken bottles and knives, while serious injuries were inflicted on them. The driver and the conductor were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital.

Speaking on the ugly incident, the leader of the drivers’ association, Taofeek Bolakale, said “we are tired of these touts and don’t want to take the law into our hands. We are mature, responsible and conscious of the Lagos State government’s zero tolerance for violence.

“We decided to embark on the strike action so that the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola will find a permanent solution to the menace of touts and guarantee our safety before we can return to the roads,” the association’s leader stated, while enjoining the state government to confine motor touts to the parks for peace to reign as they had become nuisance on the highways, extorting illegal fees from motorists.

Bolakale made a reference to the situation where one of his union members, Mr. Samuel Ogunniyi, was killed by the touts sometime last year, at first gate bus-stop, FESTAC town.

P.M.News‘ investigation revealed that although the Coaster bus drivers’ action was genuine, it has caused untold hardship to the commuters plying the affected route as they pay as high as N600 against the normal fee of N130 per trip.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.