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Pandemonium at Abule-Egba BRT terminal over crowd control


By Adeyinka Aderibigbe

There was pandemonium on Wednesday at the BRT Terminal in Super, Abule-Egba as crowd of commuters fought and prevented more than 20 BRT buses from loading.

Our Correspondent on the queue to board an Oshodi-bound bus, reports that the pandemonium was created by commuters who insisted that operators must allow ‘standing’ in buses.

The confusion caused serious brawl for more than two hours among commuters and the ground staff of the Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), operator of the newly introduced high-capacity buses.

The ground staff of LAMATA in anger diverted so many buses from the terminal to other terminals along the route to avoid attack on buses by the fighting commuters.

The situation, which went on for about two hours, resulted in a traffic snarl, which extended to Abule-Egba under Bridge from Super bus stop.

Many commuters on genuine queue were disenchanted as those on standing queue insisted no bus would load the situation that incapacitated the LAMATA’s officials.

The free for all led to some commuters tearing their clothes at the bus stop.

One of the LAMATA ground staff, who would not want his name mentioned, said that the buses would continue to be diverted to Ile-Epo and Iyana-Ipaja terminus as long as commuters failed to comport themselves.

“We are tired. Why is it difficult for people to follow due process and allow us to serve them? We have enough buses to carry them. This is sad, people cannot obey simple instruction.

“We told those claiming they are on standing queue that we don’t have such queue but they insisted we should carry them, and when we didn’t do that, they started the rush and prevented those on genuine queue to board buses.

“We will continue to divert buses from here until this is over. Let people stop this fighting. We have enough buses,” he said.

A BRT driver, who also preferred anonymity, said with the pandemonium, many drivers would be avoiding Abule-Egba as their job was based on the number of passengers carried daily.

A commuter, Mrs Olufunmilayo Akinsola, said that the pandemonium was caused by the failure of the operator’s ground staff to organise the crowd.

Another woman, Mrs Titi Adebayo, who was pushed down during the fight, also accused the ground staff for not coordinating the queue very well.

According to her, the firm has been allowing some people to stand in the bus for some time, the reason why some commuters formed a queue for standing.

Another commuter, Mr Sanjo Adekunle, who noted he arrived at terminal at 7:25am said the disorganisation and its resultant free for all delayed him on queue till 9:15am.

Many commuters were disenchanted over the unnecessary delay caused by the brawls and left.

Many commuters, who said that the rowdiness started since Monday, urged LAMATA to request for task force to ensure orderliness at the terminal.

Reacting, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi, the Public Affairs Officer of LAMATA said the authority was yet to be briefed on the development.

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