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Commercial drivers begin strike today as meeting with Lagos govt ends in stalemate



 Commercial drivers begin strike today as meeting with Lagos govt ends in stalemate
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Commercial drivers, under the aegis of  Joint Drivers’ Welfare Association of Nigeria, JDWAN, on Sunday vowed to commence its proposed seven days strike, starting today (Monday), as its meeting with the Lagos State Government ended in a deadlock.
JDWAN’s National Leader, Akintade Abiodun, who disclosed this, said some representatives of the association met with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Abdulhafiz Toriola and the Parks Management Liaison Officer, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, in the company of JDWAN’s Legal Adviser, Mr Ayo Ademiluyi.
He said the essence of the meeting, which took place over the weekend, was defeated as the drivers received threatening messages.
Akintade, in a statement, “The leadership of the joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria met with Lagos State government representatives, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Engr. Abdulhafiz Toriola and the Parks Management Liaison Officer, Mr Hakeem Odumosu in the company of our Legal Adviser, Mr Ayo Ademiluyi.
“The Lagos state government has since made no concrete response to JDWAN demands, rather, their representatives only asked for another letter to be submitted on Monday, which is regarded as a joke on our part. We have issued a press statement with concise demands. We also honoured the demand to deliver a physical copy of the letters to the Lagos State government, the Department of State Security, DSS; the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner for Transport respectively.
“The retired AIG (Odumosu) also expressly said they can’t get rid of the bus stop to bus stop extortionists because they work for the state government. He also alleged that some individuals can organize thugs to attack us and we will be blamed or credited for the violence, all in a failed fear-mongering tactics.
“The statement of threat by Hakeem Odumosu that some individuals (names withheld) could attack our members is already happening. JDWAN notes that Lagosians must be aware that if anything happens to our drivers, the elements named above should be held responsible.
“It is pertinent to note that there is an existing restraining court order granted by Justice P.O Lifu of a Federal High Court in Ikoyi against the Lagos state government and all transport agencies, stopping them from ticketing, bus stop levies, motor park levies, dues and any form of extortion from commercial drivers with suit no: FHC/L/CS/224/2022 between applicant, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, the Transport Union Society of Nigeria, TUSON, and respondents, NURTW, RTEAN, NARTO, Musiliu Akinsanya (Mc Oluomo), Mohammed Musa, Lawal Yusuf Othman, Lagos State Government, the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice of Lagos State, Inspector General of Police, Director-General of State Security Service.
“It is sad that the representatives of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are mocking Lagos drivers’ predicament and are disinterested in stopping the major factor causing the high cost of living in Lagos, by asking for another letter and demanding that we call off the boycott without addressing our five demands.
“Drivers and commuters have had a brimful of extortion and harassment from the motor park management and caretaker committee thugs popularly known as Agbero. It is also visible to the blind in Lagos that the cost of goods and services is a consequence of Agbero’s extortion. No goods can be delivered and the 95% working class resident can be transported without the service of commercial drivers.
“The unfettered and violent extortion by the Lagos government agents has not only increased transportation fare beyond the affordability of workers but also made every good and service out of reach of poor Lagosians.”


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