If you live in Lagos, Nigeria and you use the popular 14/18-seater commuter buses (danfo) then you will understand why ‘uniformed’ men (Police, Soldiers, even Lastma, FRSC etc) do not pay for bus fares. They are popularly referred to as ‘Staff’
Most of these ‘uniformed men’ wear their full uniform, or in most cases, a beret, T-shirt or something to identify with their ‘uniform power’ and supposed right not to pay for bus fares.
But this bus conductor was different, and for insisting that a soldier who boarded his vehicle must pay his fare, a commuter bus (danfo) driver has paid with his life.
The unidentified danfo driver with vehicle number LSD 451 XG parked at Obalende Bus Stop, near the BRT bus park, was said to have refused to move his vehicle from the park when the soldier who was in a mufti refused to pay the N100 bus fare.
An argument was said to have ensued between them during which the soldier, said to be from Dodan Barracks in Ikoyi, strangled the driver.
The soldier, it was learnt, attempted to run after the deadly duel but commuters and passersby who witnessed the scene arrested him and told him to carry the corpse to the hospital.
Sensing that the soldier was about to be mobbed, a policeman at the scene phoned his colleagues at the Kam Selem Police Divisional Headquarters, Moloney Street and four police patrol vehicles with policemen arrived the scene.
A detachment of armed soldiers from nearby Dodan Barracks also arrived the scene to prevent the culprit from being killed by the mob.
A reporter with Radio Nigeria, who was filming the scene, was also beaten up. His phones and gadgets were destroyed. The brother of the deceased, who held the corpse in his arms, was equally assaulted.”
Our correspondent learnt that some other soldiers later arrived at the scene and took away the killer soldier in an Audi car.
NigerianEye learnt that the corpse of the Oyo State indigene was taken to the General Hospital mortuary.
A friend of the late driver, who identified himself simply as Baba Ijebu, described the deceased as a gentle and peaceful man who in his 15 years in the park had never fought with anybody.
Director, Army Public Relations Office, 81 Division, Lt. Col Omale Ochuagwuba, told newsmen that the suspect had been arrested and investigations had begun.
The army spokesman promised that the matter would not be swept under the carpet.
He said, “The soldier (suspect) said he was in mufti and was seeing his wife off at Obalende. His wife was billed to travel to the village and was boarding a commercial bus. His wife’s belongings had been put into the bus but an argument ensued over the cost of transportation.
“The soldier told the driver that the price was too high and the driver threw the soldier’s wife’s bags out of the vehicle and he pushed the soldier and the two of them started fighting. The driver’s colleagues joined hands and started beating up the soldier.
“The soldier’s wife ran down to Dodan Barracks to report the matter, but by the time the soldiers got there, the bus driver was already dead.”
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