A renowned broadcaster, Jimi Disu, on Wednesday scolded Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on the rising illicit activities in the state, pointing out that not only is Lagos State drifting under his leadership, but that agberos (Area boys) have hijacked governance in the state.
Disu, on the #MorningCrossfire show on Nigeria Info FM on Wednesday monitored from Lagos, decried that agberos under the guise of being members of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) are fast constituting a government in Lagos State, exploiting commercial drivers for their personal enrichment.
Transporters operating on the Mile 2-Badagry corridor, under the aegis of Mega-City Transport Association (MCTA), had sent a Save-Our-Soul message during the radio programme, complaining of exorbitant ticket fee of N7,000 daily per vehicle, collected from drivers by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), including the Road Transport Employee Association of Nigeria (RTEAN). The drivers have been on strike since last week, confronting the NURTW and RTEAN since the commencement of the stay-off-the-road action.
Disu decried the anarchy and violent self-enrichment of the non-productive groups to the detriment of the drivers. He lamented that agberos are obviously having a field day imposing illicit levies on the transporters, and the Lagos State government watches without caring for residents of the state.
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Olufemi Hamzat, was earlier reported to have said that the state government cannot take the agberos off the roads because they are their brothers and relations.
Disu recalled that the crisis had existed long over 20 years. He stated that the agberos are violence tools the government and political leaders use during elections and, thereafter, permit them to operate at the parks without regulations.
Disu had declared: “It is a racket. It is being said that these guys own the government. These agbero guys are the ones in charge of this government in Lagos State. It’s quite obvious, you don’t need a soothsayer.
“They go about with police protection. Go on youtube, you will see them boasting – ‘we went to see this man or that man and he gave us N2 million or N4 million, and our own constituency, the media, is complicit.
“I feel ashamed now to be called a journalist because we are complicit. This is a problem that is over 20 years old when the monster started growing, but everybody was being fed. But those of us who were the lone voice in the universe were saying that *o ma le yin, eyin e lo de yi* (it will backfire, and we can now see the repercussion).
“So, for those younger ones who do not understand, this thing is beyond you and if you don’t make a concerted effort, it’s going to get worse because the next election day in 2023, a lot of our own people will still be tweeting, they won’t go to the polls. They won’t go with the determination that we must put an end to this monster that we have created in Lagos.”
Disu lamented that he is losing faith in the present administration in Lagos. He pointed out that the change in the leadership of the state has not been in the interest of the people.
“I’m getting a bit disappointed with governance in Lagos State and for somebody who came out openly and put his reputation on the line to say this governor will do good. I’m getting a bit worried, and I’ve had to say to myself that our governor, very soon will have no choice than to be his own man or, I will leave that other side open.”
Disu further expressed support for the e-hailing drivers under the National Union of Professional App-based Workers, who are protesting the State Government decision to introduce the Lagos Ride scheme, a direct competition to Uber and Bolt. He supported their protest that the government should focus on regulation than float a scheme without carrying the stakeholders along.
the veteran broadcaster admonished Sanwo-Olu to develop the courage to stand up to the position entrusted to him by the people. He said that the weaknesses of his administration are making Lagosians remember the administration of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode people perceived to be more decisive.
“A second term is not a matter of life and death. Ambode didn’t do a second term and he’s enjoying himself now. In fact, some people are now missing his own time. “Can you see how life goes? Some people are saying that he was a bit more decisive than what we have now but I don’t want to get into that politics, but the State is drifting and the man we appointed as the captain of the ship seems to be missing at the wheel,” Disu declared.
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