Commuters in Lagos State groaned yesterday as LAGBUS operators disrupted transport activities in protest against treatment by the state’s traffic law enforcement agencies.
Particularly, thousands of commuters in Ikorodu axis of the state, were stranded at various bus stops as drivers and ticket sellers of the Red buses known as LAGBUS began an indefinite strike.
The buses are the franchise scheme of LAGBUS Asset Management Limited, whose drivers under the aegis of LAGBUS Captains Association, embarked on the strike over what they described as extortion, unlawful impounding of their buses by law enforcement agents and insensitivity of the bus operators to their plight.
Although some of the buses operated at about 5am but were withdrawn at about 6.30am and taken to their various depots at Sabo, Ewu-Elepe, Igbogbo, Odogunyan and Isawo as Captains and ticket sellers converged at Ikorodu round about for a peaceful demonstration.
They were seen distributing fliers to draw people’s attention to their plight.
Commuters who were heading for places like Oshodi, Ikorodu road, Ikeja, CMS, YabaOyingbo, Obalende and Ketu/Mile 12 were visibly stranded at various bus-stops as the buses refused to load but operators of mini buses popularly called Danfo and privately owned intra-city commercial vehicles had a field day as their fares were hiked up by 00 percent in some cases.
Some of the drivers who spoke with Vanguard lamented the daily hardship they go through especially from transport unions and law enforcement agents alleging that they are usually left with nothing after settling the various bodies daily.
One of the drivers who identified himself as Yinka Seraphin said: ‘’We embark on this strike to draw the attention of the Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to what we suffer in the hands of Agberos and law enforcement agencies like Lagos State Traffic Management Authority LASTMA and Nigeria Police Force especially Rapid Response Squad RRS and Task Force.
An operator of LAGBUS who does not want his name in print said that the solution to the maltreatment from transport unions and various government agencies is for the Lagos State government to give the Transport Investors Cooperative Society a license of operation.