#BounceExclusive: ‘Agberos’ Dare Ambode, Return To Oshodi
Did Governor Akinwumi Ambode change his mind or are they pushing his goodwill too far?
The state government had on June 5 issued a ban on the activities of the union in Oshodi. The ban came in the wake of the alleged murder of a top union official.
The crises at Oshodi erupted after the death of Rasaq Bello, popularly known as Hamburger, which resulted into the attack on innocent citizens.
Bello, a prominent member of NURTW, was allegedly shot dead in Shogunle area during the local council primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on May 29.
Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Anofiu Elegushi while announcing the ban had said the ban will affect all the seven branches of the NURTW operating in the area.
The commissioner added that there will be no collection of tickets or fees from transporters operating in the area while the suspension last.
Few weeks after the ban was imposed, it is now business as usual for the union members as they have returned to their duty posts .
Bounce News investigations revealed that after the initial bravado by the state government to enforce the ban which led to the arrest of three top members of the union in the area appears to be weakening.
A visit to major road junctions in Oshodi on Thursday showed none compliance with the order.
At Charity bus stop along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Bounce News spotted members of the union issuing tickets to Okada riders, tricycle operators and commercial buses.
At Oshodi Express, the agberos were carrying out their activities in full sway. The same scenario was observed in Post Office, Ladipo, Airport Junction and 7 & 8 bus stop.
It was gathered that the union leaders had on June 28 issued a circular to all commercial drivers in the area, notifying them of the sales of tickets as from June 30. This was after the transporters rejected several attempts by the union leaders to pacify them to buy the tickets.
It was further gathered that okada riders in the area had on the same day the circular was issued staged a peaceful protest to the Akinpelu Police Station.
The protest, however, yielded no result as the they were forced to buy the tickets on July 1.
Some of the Okada riders and tricycle operators who spoke with our correspondent said were forced to buy tickets despite the fact that the ban is still in place.
A tricycle operator, Semiu Salami, who runs his rounds along the Ladipo- Oshodi Express route, said he pays N1,400 for booking and loading to persons working for the NURTW, though he is usually issued a ticket of N300.
Reacting to the development, Lagos State Police Command PRO, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole said the ban is still in place.
He said he was not aware that the union members have returned to the streets.
He promised to look into the matter and report his findings to Bounce News.
Efforts to speak with the leaders of the NURTW in the state failed. The mobile phone lines of the state chairman, Tajudeen Agbede, were not reachable as of the time of filing this report.
About N7 million was believed to be lost daily to by the union since the ban on its operations was enforced.