In the aftermath of the violence that broke out on Friday, July 4, 2014 in Palmgrove area of Lagos following the alleged killing of an army corporal by a Bus Rapid Transit [BRT] vehicle, the management of LAGBUS franchise, LAGBUS Asset Management Limited has withdrawn its BRT vehicles from Lagos roads as a security measure while denying responsibility for the death of the soldier.
According to Abiodun Apata, project manager of Mutual Model Transports, one of the LAGBUS franchises, the soldier was not killed by a BRT bus, as news making the rounds have it.
The withdrawal of the buses however had significant effect on the traffic situation in the state, as commercial buses seized the chance by increasing bus fares by as much as 50%.
The Scoop reports:
LAGBUS Asset Management Ltd., operators of LAGBUS, has denied reports that the driver of one of its Bus rapit Transit (BRT) buses knocked down a soldier to death on Friday morning.
Following the attack on its buses, the company also withdrew its buses from Lagos roads, prompting commercial vehicles to hike fares by about 50 per cent and leaving many commuters stranded.
Mr Abiodun Apata, project manager of Mutual Model Transports, one of the LAGBUS Franchises, made this known on Friday.
The buses were attacked in the morning by soldiers protesting the killing of an army corporal, belonging to the Nigerian Army of Education.
The late soldier was reported to have been hit by a BRT vehicle while he was riding a motorbike near Palmgrove Bus Stop on Ikorodu Road, Lagos.
Describing the attack as unfortunate, Apata stated that the luxury buses were withdrawn to avert more damage.
“By 10pm on Thursday, one of our buses broke down at Onipanu; by 11p.m., a rescue team with a van went to the scene to tow the bus,” he said.
“Unfortunately, `area boys’ started stoning our team, and our men had to leave. Meanwhile, the driver put on hazard lights and C- Caution to alert motorists of the breakdown.
“By 5a.m. this morning, before the rescue team got to the scene, a corpse had been deposited in our bus and a motorcycle parked behind it.
“When we saw it, we reported the case to the Pedro Police Station, Somolu, but before we got back to the scene, soldiers had burnt down five BRT buses and one belonging to LAGBUS.”
Mr Johnson Oguntade, head of Operations, BRT, who denied that the late soldier was hit by a BRT, stated that the withdrawal of BRT vehicles was to prevent more damage.
“I do not still understand why we are suffering for what we never caused. Why they are burning our buses is not known,” Oguntade said.
The alleged accident and withdrawal of the buses crippled commercial activities on Ikorodu Road, resulting in traffic gridlock, as some of the vehicles set ablaze were still at the scene of the incident.