Lagos Truck, Cargo Operators Lament Extortion, Assault on Drivers

January 8, 2024
Lagos Truck, Cargo Operators Lament Extortion, Assault on Drivers

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lagos State Truck and Cargo Operators Committee (LASTCOC) has called on the government to intervene in the rising cases of unwarranted extortion and assault of truck drivers in the state by hoodlums.

The committee expressed concerns after an attack on a truck driver by hoodlums along the Mile 2 – Oshodi express road at the weekend, which has left the driver hospitalised.

Recounting the development, the Chairman of LASTCOC, Mr Lukman Shittu, said some toll-collecting thugs at Berger bus stop outwards Mile 2-Oshodi express road on Saturday morning flagged a loaded containerised truck to extort the driver.

He said when the driver refused to stop, one of the thugs jumped onto the driver’s side and started dragging the steering with him, which made the truck swerve to the other side of the road, crashing into some Tokunbo vehicles parked along the road.

Mr Shittu said as the driver made an attempt to grab one of the hoodlums, he was stabbed from behind and rushed to hospital.

This was similar to another event on December 5, 2023, at the exact spot. In this instance, he said that the same hoodlums dragged steering with a driver leading to the falling of a truck and its loaded container, causing huge financial loss to the importer and the truck owner.

He said the activities of these destructive and lawless hoodlums are killing the transportation business in Lagos State and discouraging foreign investors from investing in the transportation business.

According to him, these hoodlums damage trucks, burgle containers in transit, collect money and assault the drivers, causing road accidents and traffic gridlock thereby making life unbearable for members of the public.

“These hoodlums who are not adding any value to our economy apart from destruction have made the transport business environment in Lagos State so hostile for truckers to operate with their illegal multiple checkpoints in Mile 2, Lagos Badagry express road, Ikorodu and other parts of the state.

“The marauding hoodlums on roads in Lagos State are a potential threat to the domestication and deriving benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), as well as achieving the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda plus policy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s government in the area of transportation.

“The trucking community cannot continue to fold its arms and watch hoodlums under the guise of working for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), local governments and some individuals to be jeopardising the haulage business, import and export economy, revenue generation, trade facilitation and seamless evacuation of cargoes to and from the nation’s seaports in the State.

“We are therefore calling on government at all levels, relevant stakeholders and those who wish well for the economy of Nigeria and Lagos State to rise and do the needful on the menace of hoodlums that are destroying our trucks, robbing our drivers, burgling containers in transit, blocking highways, causing traffic and ghastly accidents that have been claiming innocent lives and militating against the progress and stability of trucking business in Lagos State,” he said.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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