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LASG Says It is Addressing Demands of Aggrieved Drivers

The Lagos State Government says it is looking into the demands of the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN), with a view to finding permanent solutions to the issues raised by the association.

Sequel  to the announcement by JDWAN to embark on a seven-day strike starting from 31st October, 2022, the Ministry of Transportation invited its leadership to a meeting on Friday 28th October, 2022.

According to the state government, it was resolved that the meeting be adjourned till Wednesday, 2nd November, 2022 to have a larger house (the Unions inclusive) and resolve the matter amicably. The outcome of the 2nd November, 2022 meeting will be made known to the public.

The state government added that “those who are taking advantage of the situation to raise fares are warned to desist from doing so or face the consequences of their illegal actions”.

Meanwhile, the aggrieved drivers have cried out that their members are being harassed by touts (Agberos).

The drivers said its members faced physical assaults, abduction and vandalisation of property by some motor park touts in Lagos, in the cause of the ongoing seven days strike action.

They said the inhumane treatment meted on them occurred in Badagry, Ojodu Berger, Iyana-Era and Ijanikin areas of Lagos.

Narrating the incidents in a statement, JDWAN National Leader, Akintade Abiodun, vowed that the strike action will continue till November 6, to press home their demands from the state government.

JDWAN said its members, who are over 5,000 in number, are ready to defy all odds.

“Kudos to all commercial drivers in Lagos State for the massive compliance to the seven-day boycott by the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria.

“We also want to thank the commuters and residents of Lagos for the support thus far.

“We have all come to the full understanding of the impact of the forceful, illegal, ludicrous, unjust ticketing, levies and charges by the Parks and Garages Management Committee and caretaker committee.

“We can no longer continue to be subservient to people who have made life unbearable for us all and directly affects the cost of transportation, goods and services in Lagos.

“We have explicitly made our points clear in our demands and we are expecting the Lagos State government to accede to our demands by stopping exploitation of our labour and violent violation of our rights and restraining court order against the motor park management and caretaker committee thugs in Lagos.

“Today, October 31 (Monday) being the first day of our seven days industrial action, we have experienced physical attacks, vandalisation of our vehicles and homes and criminal abduction of our member.

“A JDWAN member, Ashimiyu Idowu was abducted in Iworo area of Badagry as motor park and caretaker thugs led by a popular Agbero (names withheld), on Agbara-Seme route. They came in a vehicle owned by a traditional ruler.

“The agberos came in over 100 bikes with three suspected thugs riding on each wielding machetes and guns, as they shot sporadically to scare people away and Ashimiyu was abducted in the process.

“After the abduction, they drove towards Seme and many vehicles were vandalised in the process.

“In Ojodu Berger area of Lagos State, drivers were beaten by multitude of motor park thugs and caretaker committee thugs over the strike action, while they marched chanting ‘where are the other drivers?’

“Similar occurrences were experienced at Iyana-Era area of Badagry.

“At Roundabout Bus Stop, Ijanikin, precisely in front Lagos State University of Education, two drivers of mini buses (korope) observing the strike action were flogged and brutally attacked by the motor park management thugs and their buses were driven away because they refused to work.

“The coalition of Lagos commercial drivers under the umbrella of Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria wants to say categorically to the state government and its violent extortion agents that we are not afraid of any threat.

“No matter how long they violate the restraining order against the government by Honorable Justice Peter Odo Lifu, we remain undaunted and resolute till all our demands are met”.

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