BRT: 15 drivers resigned over soldiers assault – NURTW

By Monsuru Olowoopejo
Lagos—A witness, at the ongoing tribunal of inquiry into the
July 4th, 2014 road accident and subsequent destruction of
Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, looting and rioting, has said at least
15 BRT drivers resigned immediately after the alleged arson
by the soldiers.
Some witnesses at the ongoing inquiry had alleged that a
female soldier set the first bus ablaze, an act which led to
the burning of other buses at the scene of the incident.
Speaking at the public hearing in Ikeja, Mr. Olusegun
Spencer, the head of project development for National
Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, owners of the
BRT bus, said that this was the aftermath of the incident.
Spencer explained that drivers who suffered varying degree
of injuries and bus ticketers, resigned over fear of
subsequent attack from soldiers in the state.
His words “At least 15 drivers and some ticketers have
resigned their appointment. However, those who stayed
behind now work with fear of attack from the soldiers.”
Spencer lamented that before the July 4th incident, several
attacks on the drivers by the army had occurred in the state
since the inauguration of transport scheme in March 17th,
2008 by the state governor, Babatunde Fashola and “were
swept under the carpet.”
He noted that the arson and vandalism of the buses, has
affected the union’s revenue in the investment and ability to
seek for finances from banks in the state.
Spencer said: “Before now, we had several banks seeking
the patronage of the union but after that ugly incident, the
reverse has occurred. And I understand the plight of these
financial institutions.
“For instance, each of the three burnt buses cost the union
N13.5 million to procure and we are yet to recoup our
investment. And we need to buy others to fill the vacuum.
Aside this, some were vandalised, and will have to be
repaired. These are extra expenses on the union.
“And it was due to these huge losses that we had to write the
state governor, Babatunde Fashola to explain our plight to
him. And in other to do justice to our allegations, set up the
tribunal of inquiry on the activities that took place on
Ikorodu road at palm grove bus stop.”

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