Drivers of commercial buses, popularly known as Danfo, who ply the Iyana-Ipaja, Ikotun and environs in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, this morning withdrew their services while protesting the extortion they face in the hands of Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force).
The drivers were also protesting seizure of their buses by the officials.
Commuters were left stranded and some were forced to trek, as there were very limited buses available.
The commuters, therefore said the government should look into the commercial drivers’ complaints and find a lasting solution to the operations of the state task force.
A trader in Ikotun, Mrs. Funke Owolabi, expressed her understanding with the protesters, while stressing that the activities of the task force as “unfair and wicked act.”
She recalled: “It was around 6a.m. and I was on my way to my shop. I live in Iyana-Ipaja and do my business in Ikotun.
“At Olugbede area, men of the task force operating in an unmarked vehicle suddenly my intercepted our bus and forced the driver to submit the key of the bus.
She said without mentioning any offence committed, they ordered the passengers to alight from the vehicle, saying they had impounded the vehicle and are taking it to their office in Oshodi.
“They remained adamant and even threatened to arrest us if we refused to disembark.
“I was very angry because they did not tell the driver the infraction committed and also for delaying those of us hurrying to our various business destinations.
The protesters were seen displaying placards with various inscriptions such as: “Lagos task force should stop harassing us”, “Enough is enough of extortion, illegal seizure of our buses”, “We are not armed robbers, we are legitimate workers,” among others.
According to them, often times, they are harassed and extorted by task force officers particularly along the axis.
Chairmen of Iyana-Ipaja, Egbeda and Ikotun were seen at various points ensuring the development does not degenerate into violence with law enforcement agents, who were deployed to ensure security.
Policemen from Idimu Division and Area “M” Command were seen patrolling the axis.