The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos on Tuesday appealed to the striking members of the Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN) to consider commuters’ plights and suspend their strike.
JDWAN on Monday commenced a seven-day strike over alleged extortion and harassment from the motor park management and thugs popularly known as Agbero in Lagos State.
The withdrawal of operations by many commercial drivers in Lagos State has left many commuters stranded at various bus stops across the state while most commuters trekked long distance to work.
The Lagos State PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Hakeem Amode, in a statement on Tuesday, urged the aggrieved transport workers to dialogue with the APC-led government to end the suffering of commuters.
“The continued fleecing of the commuters and transport operators in Lagos State which has resulted in the members of the sector declaring strike, calls for the attention of everyone living, commuting, and working in the state of excellence.
“We sympathise with the Lagos State transport operators on their strike and urge them to consider the plight of ordinary commuters in Lagos who also bears the brunt of their agitation through the exorbitant transport fares which have eaten deep into their salary.
“We urge them to come up with an acceptable condition of operation and dialogue with the APC government to find a mutually beneficial position that would not put the people of the state in more agony,” Amode said.
The PDP spokesman said that the transition of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to the Lagos State Parks Management Authority was the cause of the problem.
He said that the failure of successive administrations to invest in the productive development of the youth, had increased the menace of motor park touts in the state.
“The government’s failure in education and youth development sectors had driven a lot of our youth to scavenge for daily collection of fares from transport operators.
“The recent promulgation of the State Parks Management Authority bill gives credence and legitimacy to this act,” he said.
Amode while sympathizing with the plight of transport operators in the state, said that some drivers paid daily between N7,500 and N2,500 which caused them loss of profits.
He said that the daily injuries they suffered from motor park touts while enforcing collection of levies, was also a matter of serious concern.
Amode said that the PDP administration, if elected in 2023 general elections, would reduce the burdens on transport operators.
The spokesman said that the PDP government under its Governorship candidate, Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran and his running mate, Ms Funke Akindele would “do everything possible to ensure that the era of multiple taxation and collection of illegal dues on the road become a thing of the past.”
He said that the focus of the PDP government would be targeted at channeling the energy of the youth to education, sports, technology and community services.
“We will make street urchins unacceptable in our community, thereby putting an end to “Agbero” in the city of Lagos.
“We appeal to the government of the state to respect the spirit of unionism and protection of interest of members of the commercial transport operators’ group by respecting their opinions.
“The government must consider their agitation to avoid chaos in an already tensed city, where poverty is currently fueling aggravation,” Amode said.