Maryland mayhem: 48 new buses destroyed —BRT operator

LAGOS State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday, ordered a full scale investigation into the attack on some Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses said to have been vandalised on Wednesday by miscreants, over alleged killing of a hawker by one of the buses at Maryland.

Forty-eight new buses belonging to a private investor, Primero Transport Services, were reportedly vandalised, while some of their drivers were wounded by the angry youth.

Governor Ambode, who was said to be irked by the development, directed police and other relevant security agencies to launch a manhunt for the perpetrators by arresting and bringing them to book.

Managing Director of Primero Transport Services, operator of the damaged BRT buses, Mr Fola Tinubu, disclosed this to newsmen, saying investigation showed that their buses were not involved in the accident that occasioned the death of the hawker.

“We want to thank the governor for his concern because he called me this morning personally to commiserate with us. He promised to assist us and assured us that he would help in ensuring that the perpetrators are arrested. We thank him for his generosity of words and all he promised to do,” Tinubu said.

He lamented the level of destruction and the buses affected, saying the losses ran into several millions of naira.

According to him, the Nigerian public must be educated to draw a line between private investment and public assets, saying, “we need to seriously ask ourselves in Nigeria if we want private sector to create jobs, and want an employment in this country.”

Tinubu said no amount of provocation should justify the destruction of 48 new buses belonging to a private investor who had provided over 2,500 jobs since the commencement of operations in November 2015 and still counting.

“At about 12 noon on Wednesday, June 29, a pedestrian street hawker scrambling to avoid being arrested by the Lagos State enforcement agents ran into an approaching bottling company trailer, crushing the pedestrian to death. The blue BRT buses did not in any way, directly or otherwise, have contact with the late young man.

“Unfortunately, suspected hoodlums took advantage of the incident to unleash mayhem and terror on our drivers, while also causing severe damages to our buses at the scene of the accident. Some of our drivers are still receiving medical treatment and some commuters had some of their belongings stolen.

“Damages on the buses range from broken windshields, front, sides, rear, to side mirrors, while some had their interior dented. The buses will be parked in our depot until repair works are carried out, which we expect to run into millions of naira,” he said.

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