By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
A Human Rights group, Osun Civil Society Coalition has called on Governor Gboyega Oyetola to quickly come to the rescue of residents of the state who have been groaning over the increase in intracity transport fare.
Operators of minibuses, popularly called “Korope” had last week Monday jacked up the transport fare by 100% claiming that they now ply longer routes following diversions brought about by the ongoing flyover project at Olaiya interception.
They also said that the hike in the prices of vehicle spare parts necessitated the increment in fare.
But the group, while expressing worry over the development in a statement jointly signed by Comrade Waheed Lawal, Comrade Bello Adebayo, Comrade Waheed Saka, Comrade Mrs. Lola Wey and Comrade Emmanuel Olowu, in Osogbo on Monday, condemned the fare hike.
They urged Oyetola to persuade the operators to revert the newly implemented fare to the old rate in order to prevent the people from believing that there is a conspiracy between the government and transporters to inflict unnecessary pains on them.
The transport fare was ₦50 before it was moved to ₦100 on every drop which took effect on Monday, 18th May, 2021.
The group described the action of the Minibus drivers as “rude decision” saying, “we believe that this act of impunity will bring untold hardship unto the generality of residents of the state some of whom earn below N10,000 a month with about a family of six (husband, wife, and their four children) which if unchecked will result in an unprecedented increase in crime rate.
The group added: “We remember that the Osun State government procures some buses for Omoluabi Scholars Bus during the immediate past government of Ogbeni Abdulrauf Aregbesola and that the Federal Government o, during the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan gave some buses to States to cushion the effect of fuel price increase in 2012.
“We therefore suggest that these busses be brought back into use with immediate effect with proper supervision by relevant stakeholders made up of the government representative, representative of the civil society and relevant private sector operators to break the monopoly of the private sector operators in the transport industry and thus end the current culture of impunity.
“Based on the intention of the state government to creating Bus –Stops in the state we therefore present to you this following route.
“Orita Olaiya – Owode Ede , Orita Olaiya – Osunjela Orita Olaiya – Okinni ,Orita Olaiya – Trade fair junction (Dele Yes Sir), Orita Olaiya – Kobo – nigbogbore among others.
“It interests us to inform you that this arrangement is not new in the southwestern part of Nigeria as Lagos and Ibadan can be used as a case study.
“As a people’s friendly Governor, we will want you to note that the actions of the intracity bus operators symbolizes impunity by charging at a fix rate without putting to consideration the distance. We are of the view that such act of impunity must not be allowed to stand as other sectors will follow suit.”.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that while some residents still take the minibuses and paid the new fare, others trekked to their destinations as the drivers refused to reduce the fare.