Lagos commercial drivers decry extortion, harassment by LASTMA, VIO
Some commercial bus drivers yesterday withdrew their vehicles from the road as a result of alleged incessant harassment and extortion by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) in some parts of the state.
It was learnt that on Monday, about 30 buses were impounded by the officials at Ojodu Berger area of Lagos, which forced many of them to withdraw their vehicles from the road, forcing passengers to be stranded at some bus stops.
It was also gathered that some inter-state drivers, especially those coming from Mowe and Ibafo areas of Ogun State, did not come to Lagos for fear of their buses being impounded.
According to a driver, Tajudeen Owolabi, one of their colleagues who took off from their park at Ojodu Berger going to Sango was stopped in Agege by a team of LASTMA officials for no reason.
He said: “The bus was later released to him after he parted with N5,000. This is what we are battling with on a daily basis. Most of the money we make goes back to them and the task force officials who arrest and impound vehicles indiscriminately.”
Another driver who simply gave his name as Abija, said: “My bus was impounded last week Tuesday at Seven Up Bus Stop, the LASTMA team working at the axis said I didn’t park my bus well. My bus was impounded and I was booked N10,000. It took me the whole week before I was able to pay the money. The only person that can save us from this harassment is Mr. Governor.”
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