—- appeal to government to intervene
There were protests by tricycles operators this morning at Ile Epo, Abule Ẹgba, Ekoro and Àgbàdo over what they called multiple ticketing which they said has made them unable to make daily payments to the owners of their tricycles.
Speaking with our reporter, the protesting tricycle operators decried what they called a regime of double taxation in the hands of thugs allegedly brought from Oshodi by Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Olu Omo, to double ticket them.
This development, according to them, came about when Alhaji Akinsanya took over the parks in the areas mentioned early last week.
” Can you imagine, before leaving Ile Epo I will pay for the ticket, and on getting to Ekoro, I will also pay for the same ticket, and the same ticket will be issued at Abule Ẹgba and I have to pay”, Asimiyu Okanlawon, a tricycle operator at Ekoro told this medium.
John Atteh, a tricycle operator told the Eyewitness reporter that ” it has been very difficult for me and my family since the takeover of our park, unlike before when Alhaji Abiola Istijabah, the chairman of Tricycles Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria, Lagos chapter was fully in control. Then it used to be one ticketing. Now I don’t know what to do as the owner of the tricycle is threatening to take it back from me.”
Atteh’s story is not different from Hakeem Agbegbe, another operator who said ” yesterday I could not make any money delivery to the owner of my tricycle, and today I don’t know what will happen.”
He said they had no option but to protest the unpalatable conditions they have found themselves.
One of the leaders of the protesters, Waheed Adeoti, appealed to the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwoolu, to come to their aid, saying if the situation persists, operators may be forced out of business, a situation that may worsen the transportation problem in the state.
Many of the operators who spoke with our reporter urged the Lagos State government to settle the rift between Istijabah and Akinsanya, adding that Alhaji Akinsanya is not a tricycle operator and wondered why he should be meddling in the tricycles operations in the state.
” I honestly pray that the governor will look into our challenge for the sake of our family. The only way to go for peace to reign is to allow Tricycles Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria under its leaders to manage its operations as was the case before”, Adeoti said.
As at the time of filing this report, protests were still ongoing in Ile Epo, Abule Ẹgba and Ekoro.
It was learnt that under Alhaji Abiola Istijabah, there was nothing like multiple ticketing. In the old order, many a time ”we would approach Alhaji Abiola Istijabah for help concerning our children’s school fees, and he would gladly do so. But now, we have nowhere to go, since they are wrestling control from him. It is sad”, Adeoti lamented.
Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison
A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.
As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.
“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.
Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.
Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.
Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.
Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.
Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo
” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.
The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.
“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.
“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.
“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.
“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.
“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.
Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.
“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”
We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.
“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.
The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.
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