Metro & Crime

Commuters stranded as Lagos drivers protest alleged task force extortion

…they have agents who collect money for them

 

Commuters plying the Agbara/ Igbolerin/Okoko/ Iyana Oba route were yesterday stranded as some commercial drivers protested against alleged harassment and extortion by personnel of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, aka Task force.

 

The drivers, who carried placards with various inscriptions, including, ‘End task force wahala’, and ‘End task force in Lagos State,’ prevented commercial vehicles and trucks from taking one way at Church bus stop, Ojo along the Badagry Expressway.

 

The protest which caused traffic and grounded movement from Okoko to Iyana Isashi bus stop began at 8 am. According to the Chairman, Ojo Chapter Shuttle Bus Drivers Association, Richard Adeboyega, “the road is under construction, before now we had a turn at afro, another at Okoko but the construction company has blocked turn. Drivers plying Agbara to Igbolerin /first gate now have to drive to Ojo barracks before they can find a U turn and drive back.

 

When they take one-way, officials of a task force impound our member’s buses. Our members  pay between N100,000 to N150,000 to recover our vehicles when impounded. The officials collect cash and they don’t issue receipts. We are calling on the government to intervene.

 

The construction company should open the middle lane to enable drivers to connect the turning at Igboelerin or the task force should stop extorting us till the construction is done.”

 

Explaining what led to the protest, Chibuzor Nwabueze, Vice Chairman of the association said “They have impounded 15 vehicles today which they have taken to their office at Alausa behind Shoprite. Last week they impounded over 30 vehicles.”

 

“Officials of the task force are extorting us. Our travails started after the turning at Afro bus stop was blocked by the construction company, without creating an alternative to enable drivers going to Igboelerin/ first gate turn.”

 

When contacted, the Director, press and Public Affairs of the task force, Mr. Gbadeyan Abdulraheem debunked the drivers’ allegations, saying what the drivers are doing is illegal driving against traffic. If they, the drivers have any evidence against our officials they should send it to our office

 

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