Commuters on Iyana-Ipaja/Iyana-Iba Axis Stranded as Danfo Drivers Protest
By Sodeinde Temidayo David, Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
Commuters were stranded on Tuesday morning following the refusal of commercial bus drivers popularly known as Danfo drivers to ply the Iyana-Ipaja to Iyana-Iba route.
Passengers who went to the various bus stops along the route were surprised not to find any of the yellow buses to convey them to their different destinations. This development made many commuters to trek to their places of work.
Business Post gathered that the Danfo drivers stopped conveying passengers in protest of activities of the Lagos State taskforce (Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit), who they claimed have been harassing their members.
It was further learned that the incident that sparked the protest today was the alleged killing of a bus driver and his conductor at Iyana-Ipaja on Monday.
They used the opportunity to make their grievances known over the daily seizure of buses and extortion from drivers by the officials on duty.
For some bus drivers who picked passengers, officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) stopped them and forced their passengers to evacuate the vehicles.
As at 12 noon, when this newspaper monitored the situation, commercial buses were yet to resume carrying passengers to the destinations.
Many of the commuters have been forced to walk from Iyana-Ipaja to areas like Egbeda, Idimu, Isheri, Ikotun and Iyana-Iba axis.
Some private cars and commercial motorcycle riders generally called okada have to step in to offer lifts to the public road users at an increased price.
The protest was a little bit aggressive at the Ikotun axis as private car owners who tried to offer rides to passers-by had their vehicles smashed by the protesters.
The commercial drivers disclosed their determination to keep the no movement order even till the midweek, as they seek government’s intervention.
A few of the stranded passengers have expressed their displeasure over the situation, calling on the government to quickly step so as to ease the hardship.
However, the current scenario which started as early as 7 am on Tuesday is not a new occurrence as there was a similar situation last year, precisely September 1, 2020, when commuters were forced to resort to long-distance trekking.
In response to the development, the Chairman, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force), Mr Sola Jejeloye, acknowledged that there are some fake and corrupt individuals who pretend to be members of the task force to extort innocent drivers.
He said that the unit was doing everything in its power to apprehend those guilty of the allegations.
According to him, “We have arrested some of them in the past and we have strengthened our surveillance to arrest those still in the act to bring them to book.
“I, hereby, appeal to residents and protesting commercial drivers to give peace a chance as everything will be fine to address this once and for all.”
Mr Jejeloye, however, cited that there was no evidence yet to prove the extortion made by his men.
“I urge anyone with evidence of extortion against task force men to come forward and I assure them of prompt action against such errant officers as deterrence,” the task force boss said.