By Ola Ajayi
FOR fear of being arrested, most commercial drivers in Ibadan metropolis yesterday withdrew their services from major streets following the expiration given to them by Oyo State Government to paint their vehicles in official state colour.
Following withdrawal of their services, hundreds of commuters were stranded at bus stops. As at the time of filing this report, there were few commercial vehicles plying the roads. Vanguard observed that only the few ones who complied with the state government’s directive were working.
Commuters were seen trekking long distances to their places of work and various destinations. It was gathered that there was light vehicular movement on Mokola, Sango, Eleyele, Odo Ona, Challenge and Orita Challenge.
Drivers complain over price of painting
But some drivers who pleaded anonymity complained that the N15,000 with which to paint their vehicles was too exorbitant for them to afford in this harsh economic situation.
An NURTW leader, Mr. Tajudeen Alabi however, commended the efforts of the state government, saying it was a good decision as all criminals masquerading as drivers would be easily identified with the new directive.
He said, â€œyou see some mechanics and even government workers using their vehicles for commercial activities either very early in the morning or in the evening, thus competing with our people (drivers). The new directive from the government regarding the painting will no doubt put a stop to this, we will be able to differentiate between our men and intruders.â€
Govt says decision ‘ll improve security situation
Justifying the move of the state government, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communication, Prince Dotun Oyelade, explained that the decision was taken after due consultation with drivers and relevant stakeholders.
He stressed that the move was to improve on the security situation in the city.