SWL CALLS FOR SUPPORT OF INDEPENDENT DRIVERS STRIKE IN LAGOS
DEMAND JUSTICE FOR ASHIMIYU IDOWU A LEADER OF THE JOINT DRIVERS’ WELFARE ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (JDWAN) WHO WAS ABDUCTED AND TORTURED
STOP THE EXPLOITATION AND OPPRESSION OF DRIVERS BY PRO-GOVERNMENT TRANSPORT UNIONS AND MANAGEMENT COMMITTEES
The Joint Drivers Welfare Association of Nigeria (JDWAN) started a 7-day strike action today 31st October 2022, across the length and breadth of Lagos state. The Socialist Workers & Youth League (SWL) fully supports this historic action by this radical independent body of commercial drivers, which has risen to challenge the arbitrariness and extortionist transport workers’ which are aligned with different sections of the ruling class.
The SWL further calls for justice for Comrade Ashimiyu Idowu, a leading member of JDWN who was abducted earlier this morning by agbèròs (as touts of the pro-establishment transport unions are called), beaten up and tortured, and several other members of JDWN who have been attacked by these touts, in different parts of Lagos.
The JDWAN is protesting the multiple and excessive extortions of its members by the management of the Lagos State Transportation Parks and Garages Management Committee, led by Musiliu Akinsanya aka “MC Oluomo”, a well-known millionaire thug and “enforcer” of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos.
JDWAN members are exercising their constitutional rights to withdraw their services faced with exploitation and oppression. The brutal response of the pro-government thugs is utterly condemnable. Riding on motorbikes and wielding weapons, they swooped in on JDWAN activists, monitoring the strike at strategic bus stops in the city, wounding quite several radical members of JDWAN.
We place the responsibility for these attacks squarely at the doorstep of the Lagos state APC government led by Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the principal, Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is a former governor of the state and the APC presidential candidate.
It is a known fact that Bola Tinubu groomed MC Oluomo, who leveraged on his role as a leader of the Lagos State Council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) for several years to provide the APC’s elections rigging muscle. And Governor Sanwo-Olu created the Lagos State Transportation Parks and Garages Management Committee as a Czardom for “MC Oluomo” when he lost out in the NURTW power game.
These discredited politicians of the ruling class must be brought to book for the violence being meted out to JDWAN members, alongside their over-pampered minions led by “MC Oluomo.”
We thus demand:
- Immediate stop of all arbitrary and extortionist charges by the Parks and Garages management committee and the NURTW.
- The immediate release of Ashimiyu Idowu and compensation for the torture he has been subjected to.
- Prosecution of everybody involved in the brutalization of Ashimiyu Idowu and any other member of the JDWAN, including their masters at the government house.
- Full respect for the right of JDWAN to organize, and the promotion of independent unions in the transport sector.
We salute the courage of JDWAN and all its members. We assure them of the continued support of the SWL. We urge them to fight until victory, for to dare to struggle is to dare to win!