Task force, transport workers clash in Lagos

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Pandemonium broke out on Wednesday during a clash between officials of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Agency and transport workers in the Abule – Egba and Agege areas of the state .

Reports gathered that the transport workers were protesting the rumoured death of a yet – to – be – identified motor boy , who reportedly fell to the ground while the task force personnel were chasing after the driver of a commercial bus for allegedly violating the traffic rule .

It was learnt that the driver , while conveying passengers to a destination in the state , allegedly drove against the traffic and upon sighting the task force personnel , made a U – turn and zoomed off to evade arrest .

The motor boy , who fell to the ground , was said to have sustained severe injuries and reportedly became unconscious in the process .

The driver , it was learnt , bolted as the task force officials took the injured motor boy into custody .

An eyewitness , who identified himself simply as Kola , said the motor boy died , adding that the driver , who was angered by the development , mobilised some transport workers to protest the incident .

He said , “ Someone was killed in the Agege area .

What we gathered was that officials of the task force were chasing a commercial vehicle and in a bid to intercept the driver , the officials used their vehicle to hit the bus and the motor boy fell to the ground and died .

“ They took his corpse away in a Black Maria and it was the driver , who went to organise others to protest his death and they clashed with the task force officials at Abule-Egba. ”

During the clash , a transport worker , identified simply as Gboye, alleged that the task force also brutalised two of his colleagues and beat a motor boy to a pulp .

He stated, “ We were outside this morning when we suddenly saw officials of the task force chasing an LT bus and when they intercepted it , they dragged the driver down and beat him mercilessly .

While beating the driver , the motor boy was also brutally assaulted and he collapsed on the road .

The passengers had to run away as the officials impounded the vehicle, but some courageous people carried the motor boy off the road .

“ It was during this incident that the protesting transport workers from Agege got to the Abule – Egba area and the clash happened between them and the task force officials .

But the officials were able to pin one of the transport workers down and started dealing machete blows on him .

He was also taken away in a Black Maria . ”

Hundreds of commuters were stranded on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway as commercial bus drivers stopped operations during the protest .

The clash , which had a ripple effect on commercial motorists in the area , made commuters to resort to trekking to their various destinations .

A commuter , Lanre Obabiyi, told one of our correspondents that he heard gunshots during the clash , adding that he later trekked from the Abule – Taylor bus stop to his destination in Meiran .

Another commuter , Esther Bajulaye , said , “ I have been trekking from Abule- Egba and I am still going to the Sango tollgate .

This is causing unbearable pain and discomfort for commuters .

The task force and the drivers should sort out whatever issues they have. ”

A transport worker , who spoke on condition of anonymity , said the task force officials usually extort commercial motorist after arresting and impounding their vehicles, adding that their operations in the area had been threatening their source of livelihood .

In a telephone conversation with the Chairman of the task force , Yinka Egbeyemi, he confirmed the incident but denied that his men gunned down any of the hoodlums .

“ Some hoodlums came in three buses to attack some of our men and we faced them .



We have also arrested them and they are in our custody , ” Egbeyemi said .

When contacted , the state Police Public Relations Officer , Bala Elkana, said there was no loss of life during the incident , adding that the motor boy , who was rumoured to be dead, was responding to treatment in hospital .

Elkana stated , “ Nobody died ; we have seen no corpse; it is just a rumour .

From the brief I got , the motor boy is alive and responding to treatment in hospital .

The motorist drove against the traffic and the task force officials , who were on enforcement duty , wanted to apprehend him , but turned his vehicle and drove off to escape.

“ While driving away , the door of the bus pulled out and the motor boy , who hung on it , fell .

He was injured and the police eventually took him to a nearby hospital .

The boy is alive and not dead.

Although there was a rumour that he and driver were killed , it was the driver who brought thugs after he escaped arrest .

“ The thugs came in three vehicles and we sent reinforcement from the division and overpowered them.

We impounded the three vehicles and arrested five suspects .

Normalcy has been restored in the area. ”

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