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Fear Grips Danfo Drivers Ahead Of Proposed Ban

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A new dawn is in the offing in Lagos State as the driver of the Centre of Excellence, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, is set on some ambitious but major restructuring that will change the outlook of the megacity.

The ubiquitous yellow commercial buses, popularly known as Danfo, may soon become history. The governor’s plan for taking the yellow buses off Lagos roads is to give way to a more efficient, well-structured and world-class mass transport system that will boost the movement of people within the city.

When that happens, Lagos will sure lose one of its classic piece of heritage that remarkably signposts it from the hundreds of major cities across the world. The state is the economic hub of the country and a functional transportation system is the catalyst for economic activities.

While speaking at the 14th annual lecture of the Centre for Value and Leadership held in Lagos on February 6, with the theme: “Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge of Africa’s Future Cities,” Ambode had dropped the bombshell when he said he would banish yellow commercial buses from Lagos roads this year.

“I tell you what, I want to banish yellow buses from Lagos this year. My dream of ensuring that Lagos becomes a true megacity will not be actualised with the presence of these yellow buses on Lagos roads,” he said.

Already, there are some signals to the effect of the banishment. Last week, the state government unveiled new modern buses it intends to use to replace and phase out the Danfos. The scheme would see to the introduction of higher capacity buses that would have 30 seats as opposed to 14/18 seats.

Also last week, the national president of Bus Conductors Association of Nigeria (BCAN), Israel Adeshola, announced that from March, it would become mandatory for bus conductors in Lagos State to wear uniforms, nametags and badges. Adeshola said the state government has approved wearing of uniforms and badges to be worn by over 3,000 members.

Already, Danfo drivers, who would be adversely affected by the new transport policy, are losing sleep despite the assurances from the transport workers’ union that their best interest will be taken care of.

The proposed ban has sent jitters down Ayo Bamidele’s spine. Like most commercial bus drivers in Lagos, he is apprehensive. He said if the government eventually executes its plan, he is worried about the fate of commercial bus drivers whose source of income are the Danfo buses.

Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, said talks on the plan was ongoing. “We are still on the negotiating table with government through the Ministry of Transportation. The initiative started during the administration of Fashola and ever since we have been on it. There are certain issues that are inconclusive and must be concluded before any of such move could be taken.

“My advice to our members is that they should not entertain any fear. All will be well at the end of the day. We believe our members will be actively involved and carried along in all the process of this initiative, though the details of the present administration’s policy on transportation system are still sketchy.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Adedapo Oyedipe, president of Nigerians Unite for Road Safety (NUFORSA), said the plan might not work considering the state of Nigerian roads. “You know our roads are categorized into three:Trunk A, B and C. The high-capacity buses cannot ply Trunks B or C. So, commuters will still rely on the yellow buses to move.

“This move, expected to inject about 2,000 buses with bigger capacity to carry scores of passengers at a time when the goal should be to reduce the volume of vehicles on Lagos roads, is a puzzle. Presently, a 300 km metro/light train network across the state is required to address the ongoing traffic paralysis.

“For any such mooted project to succeed, adequate funding for urgent modernization and expansion is essential. The cosmetic improvement to road infrastructure is patently insufficient, and cannot cater for the needs of the state’s population, given the number of vehicles in use on the city’s roads,” he said.

Source: Guardian

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#EndSARS: Ekiti state government declares 24-hour curfew

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Following the various attacks on #EndSARS protesters in the state, Governor Kayode Fayemi has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state effective from 10pm on today, Tuesday, October 20.

In a statement released by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, the state government said the curfew became necessary following the state government’s observation of how the end SARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.

Read the statement below

1. The Government of Ekiti State has observed with growing concern how the ENDSARS protest, which started as a peaceful protest against police brutality by youths in Ekiti State, has been hijacked by some hoodlums.

2. The hoodlums have capitalised on the ENDSARS protest to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the State. These are in addition to the wanton destruction of properties, particularly private properties.

3. Government is concerned that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby threatening the wellbeing of the people of Ekiti State.

4. For the purpose of clarity Government continues to show understanding and responsiveness to the demands of the legitimate protesters.

5. On 16th October 2020, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, Governor, Ekiti State met with the protesters in person. While identifying with the legitimacy of their protests, he assured them that the State Government will immediately put measures in place to respond to all their demands.

6. Government has since then constituted a Human Rights Investigation Panel to review all cases of abuse by Officers of the disbanded SARS. In addition, Government has enabled a Victims Compensation Fund to facilitate speedy remedial measures for victims of such abuse.

7. Furthermore, several officials of Government have engaged the protesters at multiple fora and platforms including the social media in order to ensure that concerns of protesters are properly identified and responded to in a prompt and efficient manner with necessary feedback.

8. Government had also at various times drawn the attention of the protesters to the troubling hijack of the protests by individuals whose only interest is to inflict violence on the people of the state.

9. In the past 48 hours there have been incidents of gang-rape, robberies, physical assaults on innocent people, looting and burning of a police station. These acts of brigandage are not in consonance with the legitimate aspirations of the protesters. It cannot be logical to seek to remedy impunity with impunity.

10. Government therefore cannot afford to watch a deliberate enthronement of anarchy by some bad elements who have hijacked the protest for some clandestine reasons.

11. Consequently, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State starting from 10.00 pm tonight, Tuesday, October, 20, 2020.

12. Only essential workers and service providers with valid means of identifications are allowed to move around during the period of the curfew.

13. Any person found on the street that does not belong to this category, would be promptly arrested and prosecuted according to the laws of Ekiti State.

14. We seek the understanding of the good people of Ekiti State as we continue to take deliberate steps towards ensuring that peace and normalcy return to our state.”

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Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours

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Davido speaks on the events of the past 48 hours

Nigerian superstar, Davido has said criminals are responsible for the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.

Davido made the claim while absolving End SARS protesters of involvement in the attacks.

The singer pointed out that no amount of mischief would stop the protest against police brutality and bad governance.

Davido made the remark while condemning the attack on two Correctional Centres in Benin City, Edo State.

The hoodlums had attacked the facilities and freed some inmates.

Reacting, the singer in a series of tweets wrote: “After seeing all that’s gone on today I just want to say that from the beginning we have preached that the protest must remain peaceful and Law Abiding and as far as I know we have kept to that! And we will continue to keep to that so the narrative can NOT be switched up on us!

“The people they claim broke into prisons to free convicted criminals, burn police stations to steal weapons, damage police, government, and private vehicles are Criminals and everybody must condemn these acts. They are not part of our movement !

“#EndSars is a peaceful and law abiding protest that is going somewhere great! And no mischief can scatter it!”

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Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari

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Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari

The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.

This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.

The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.

Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:

-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;

-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;

-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force

-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;

-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation

-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government

-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.

-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.

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