Commuters stranded, as ‘danfo’ drivers withdraw services over extortion by govt officials

The commuters, who were seen along Ikotun-Egbeda road, trekking, said the government should look into the commercial drivers’ complaints with a view to finding a lasting solution to the operations of the state task force.

0
178

Drivers of commercial buses, popularly called Danfo, along Iyana-Ipaja, Ikotun and environs in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, on Tuesday morning, withdrew their services to protest extortion and daily seizure of their buses by officials of Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force).

This development led to a chaotic situation in the axis, as workers and other commuters were stranded in the early hours at various bus stops, following scarcity of buses. Many resorted to trekking.

The commuters, who were seen along Ikotun-Egbeda road, trekking, said the government should look into the commercial drivers’ complaints with a view to finding a lasting solution to the operations of the state task force.

A commuter narrates experience

Mrs. Funke Owolabi, a trader in Ikotun, expressed solidarity with protesters, describing the activities of the task force as “unfair and wicked act.”

She recalled: “It was around 6a.m. and I was on my way to my shop. I live in Iyana-Ipaja and do my business in Ikotun.

“At Olugbede area, men of the task force operating in an unmarked vehicle suddenly my intercepted our bus and forced the driver to submit the key of the bus.

“Without mentioning the particular offence committed, they ordered us (passengers) to disembark immediately, saying the bus has been impounded and will be taken to their office in Oshodi. We pleaded with them to leave the bus for God’s sake.

“They remained adamant and even threatened to arrest us if we refused to disembark.

“I was very angry because they did not tell the driver the infraction committed and also for delaying those of us hurrying to our various business destinations.

“The state government should immediately look into this shameful and corrupt practices by our law enforcement agents.”

The protesters

Some of the protesting commercial drivers were seen displaying placards with various inscriptions such as: “Lagos task force should stop harassing us”, “Enough is enough of extortion, illegal seizure of our buses”, “We are not armed robbers, we are legitimate workers,” among others.

The protesters alleged that task force officers often harassed and extorts their members, particularly along the axis.

Chairmen of Iyana-Ipaja, Egbeda and Ikotun were seen at various points ensuring the development does not degenerate into violence with law enforcement agents, who were deployed to ensure security.

Policemen from Idimu Division and Area “M” Command were seen patrolling the axis.

Everything under control—Police

A senior police officer, who spoke with Vanguard at the scene, said: “The situation is under control and there is no cause for alarm.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here