Lagos drivers vow to continue strike, lament intimidation

CITIZENS COMPASS– JOINT Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN), has vowed to continue its seven days mass action which commenced on Monday, in Lagos.

JDWAN said some of its members were physically assaulted and their vehicles vandalised by some motor park touts in Lagos.

The drivers in a statement, said the inhumane treatment occured in Badagry, Ojodu Berger, Iyana Era and Ijanikin areas of Lagos.

JDWAN National leader, Akintade Abiodun said, “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, 31st of October 2021 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 direction 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.

“The state government should arrest the perpetrators and charge them to court for assault and all vandalised vehicles be repaired and returned to their owners.

“We once again salute the unity and steadfastness of our members as we call on all other professionals, honest labourers, workers and unions to join us tomorrow, 1st of November 2022, so as to avoid being stranded or attacked by these unbridled Lagos State illegal tax collectors.” He added.

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