Passengers allege non-compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols by commercial motorists

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Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu (C), speaks to passengers to enforce social distancing in a bus as part of measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Lagos, Nigeria on March 26, 2020. - Nigeria's government on March 26, 2020 warned that Africa's most populous nation could soon see an exponential increase in COVID-19 coronavirus infections unless contacts of confirmed cases are tracked down quicker. The country of around 190 million people has so far recorded just 51 infections and 1 death, but testing has been limited. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

By Ibukun Emiola
Ibadan, Sept. 3, 2020 Some commuters in Ibadan metropolis have alleged that many drivers do not comply with COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols.

They stated this in separate interviews with newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday.

NAN reports that this was coming weeks after the Oyo State Government Containment Team held stakeholders meeting with the leaders of commercial drivers in the state to adhere to the protocol.

But commuters insist that commercial drivers are carrying two passengers in the front seat and three passengers at the back seat of a cab without observing social distancing measures.

Mr Ayoola Ali, a passenger, told NAN that for a slight hike in transport fare, “commercial drivers do not adhere to safety protocols and most passengers seem not to care.

“We just leave things to God’s hand because people are not talking with the drivers even when the vehicle is overloaded.

“We allow the drivers to do as they have always been doing when there was no COVID-19 pandemic”.

Mrs Grace Afonja, another commuter, said that most commercial vehicle drivers in Oyo State would not observe COVID-19 guidelines.

Mr Femi Olaleye said that since drivers had decided not to follow the guidelines for safety during COVID-19 pandemic, he had chosen to move by commercial motorcycles.

“I sit alone on the motorcycle because commercial drivers don’t obey COVID-19 guidelines in Oyo State,” he said.

A driver plying a route in Ibadan metropolis, Mr Lamidi Oladosu, however said that most drivers were not adequately informed about the safety protocols.

He noted that apart from wearing face masks, which many of them could seldom wear, other measures, such as social distancing, seemed not important to some drivers.

He observed that the reason for their action was obvious because passengers would not want to pay for vacant seats used for social distancing in vehicles in spite of the cost of petrol.

The Oyo State Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Adeyemo, also said that although some parks in the state were not controlled by the union, the union had been able to enforce compliance with the COVID-19 pandemic safety protocol.

Irrespective of this, the Oyo State Government insists that it has started community reporting that will name and shame violators of COVID-19 guidelines through the use of Geographical Information System.

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