Ojota Violence: BRT Operator Counts Loss, 48 Buses Vandalised

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  •   Claims its vehicle never hit any hawker

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The operator of Ikorodu-CMS bus rapid transit (BRT), Primero Transport Services Limited yesterday said no fewer than 48 vehicles were vandalised due to violence that erupted at Ojota on Wednesday.

Likewise, the bus operator debunked a claim that one of its vehicles allegedly killed a street trader at Ojota, disclosing that a truck belonging to a bottling company crushed the hawker to death.

The firm’s Managing Director, Mr. Fola Tinubu lamented the loss at a news conference he addressed at the head office, Ikorodu, where he said none of the firm’s vehicles had contact with the hawker.

He provided details of what culminated in the violence, explaining that at about 12 p.m. on Wednesday, a pedestrian street hawker scrambling “to avert being arrested by Lagos State law enforcement agents ran into an approaching bottling company trailer, crushing him death.”

He clarified that the blue BRT vehicles “did not in any way – directly or otherwise – have contact with the late young man. Unfortunately, suspected hoodlums took advantage of this incident to unleash mayhem and terror on our drivers while causing damage to our buses.”

The managing director added that some of the drivers “are still receiving medical treatment and some commuters had some of their belongings stolen. Forty eight buses were estimated to have vandalised and damaged by the hoodlums at the scene of the incidents.”

Aside, Tinubu disclosed that some of the passengers numbering about 25 of them “were injured by broken glasses. The affected passengers were brought to our office. We treated them and they have gone home. Two of our drivers are still in the hospital receiving treatment.”

He explained that damages on the buses “range from broken wind shields (front, sides and rear) to side mirrors. Some buses also had exteriors dented. The buses will be parked in our depot until repair works are carried out, which we expect to run into millions of naira.

“We are still quantifying right now. The incident happened on Wednesday. Our insurance company is still calculating the loss. We know for sure that it will run into millions of naira. But we have not quantified the exact figure right now. We will make it available when we are done.”

While commiserating with the family of the deceased, Tinubu disclosed that some hoodlums “have been arrested and handed over to the Nigeria Police. We will not rest on our oars to ensure that other perpetrators of the unlawful act are arrested.”

He, however, assured that bus operator would maintain unparalleled standard of operations in the transport sector, which he said, had been as a foremost transport company in Nigeria as a whole.

Even though the attacks on the vehicles were unjustifiable, Tinubu said the bus operator “will not in any way be deterred from providing quality transportation service for which we are known to the people of Lagos State.”