By Gabriel Dike and Jet Stanley Madu
For over three hours yesterday, commuters along Iba/LASU Expressway axis were stranded when students of the Lagos State University (LASU) and touts clashed over alleged extortion on buses branded with the school’s franchise.
Daily Sun investigation indicated how commercial drivers operating the buses with Lagos State University Students Union (LASUSU) inscription were initially exempted from the alleged extortion by security agencies and touts operating in the area.
The arrangement, however, broke down at the weekend when the touts insisted on collecting fees from drivers of the buses, which the latter resisted yesterday.
The early morning protest, which caught commuters unaware, resulted in heavy traffic, which forced them to disembark, and walked long distance to their various destinations.
According to witnesses, protesters blocked the Iba Expressway directly opposite the LASU Iba end of the gate with wood and tyres.
The traffic gridlock stretched up to Iba Estate with several private vehicle owners, traders and workers lamenting the situation.
During the protest, no vehicles were allowed to go beyond LASU second gate at Iba as they were forced to make U-turn. Also, no vehicle came from the Iyana-Iba end of the road.
Daily Sun also gathered that the clash was due to an attempt by the students union to stop the touts from extorting money from drivers of buses with LASUSU’s franchise.
LASU management through the acting Director of Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations (CIPPR), Mr. Adekoya confirmed the incident. He said the Ojo Divisional Police Officer has resolved the clash.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Lagos State Command, Mrs. Dolapo Badmos also confirmed the incident.
She said ‘’there is a peace move on-going between the parties.’’
Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun held a meeting with the students’ union officials over the clash.