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The campaign sticker

23.09.2022 Featured Inside Lagos Park Where Tricycle Drivers Forcefully Buy Tinubu-Shettima’s N500 Sticker Or Get Beaten

Published 23rd Sep, 2022

By Opeyemi Lawal

On Wednesday, a video of Lagos State Park and Garages Management Committee (wrongly referred to as the Lagos chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers) agents imposing stickers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on tricycle riders went viral.

According to the video, each sticker was being sold for N500, and money gathered from the sales would be used to support the campaign of Bola Ahmed-Tinubu, the presidential aspirant of the APC, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the incumbent Governor of Lagos State, who is seeking re-election.

The sticker contains notably the pictures of Tinubu and his running mate, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo.

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The park where the sticker was imposed on tricycle operators. Photo credit: FIJ
The park where the sticker was imposed on tricycle operators. Photo credit: FIJ

Reacting in a counter video, MC Oluomo, chairman, Lagos State Park and Garages Management Committee, said what was captured on camera was false and a ploy by the oppositions, especially the Igbo community, to blackmail the APC.

 Political sticker imposed on tricycle riders for N500. Photo credit: FIJ
Political sticker imposed on tricycle riders for N500. Photo credit: FIJ
Video trending online

To ascertain the claims, FIJ visited Ajah Bus Stop, where the incident happened, to speak with tricycle riders who operate there.

‘STICKER WAS IMPOSED ON US

A tricycle rider who plies the Ajah-Badore/Langbasa road told FIJ that the levying happened on Tuesday after the operators paid for their usual tickets for the day.

“Around noon on Wednesday, we were asked to pay for an APC sticker for N500. We were mandated to pay for it. There were no options, as the agberos themselves pasted the stickers on our tricycles,” he said.

“The purchase of the sticker was mandatory and the drivers who refused had their tricycles seized. Most of the operators who paid for it that day did so to avoid losing the day’s pay,” said another tricycle rider.

“They told us it was from the state union and there was nothing we could do about it. There was a revolt, but it didn’t last because we were compelled to do the bidding of the NURTW and the agberos, just like every other time.”

A driver brought the sticker and told FIJ he had bought it to avoid trouble from the state union.

“Not buying it would have been a terrible decision because they were on our necks. They would even mark your face should you insist, and do all they can to hinder your business,” he said.

“A lot of us here operate in fear.”

DRIVERS BEATEN, TAKEN AWAY

“The state union didn’t even give us the choice to accept or reject it. Some of their workers simply went ahead to paste it on my tricycle and I had to pay,” one driver said.

“Some drivers who refused the stickers were beaten and had their seats removed.

“As we speak now, about two drivers who stood their grounds against paying for the stickers were taken away by the state union workers. They were taken to their chairman’s office and they haven’t been seen since then.

“They said the sticker was to fund the state campaign and we had to pay.

“Imagine that they are trying to advertise their candidates to us and we have to pay for it. In saner climes, they would be the ones to give people money, but rather, people are paying to help them advertise their candidates.”

Reacting to Mc Oluomo’s claim that the Igbo were behind the stickers in a bid to blackmail the party, a driver said, “The claim is absolutely false. He is only making up these claims to blackmail the ethnic group.

“How did the Igbo get the printer? Why would they do such? What would they intend to achieve? All these are lies to distract people from their true acts.

“Besides, they are simply trying to spoil the names of the Igbo. Does it make any sense that the Igbo brought the idea while the Yoruba are selling it?

“More than 50 operators were made to collect the sticker in fear.

“Here in this park, there are now over 500 tricycles because of the okada ban. So it’s a good way for them to make money.”

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Photo credit: FIJ
Photo credit: FIJ
MC Oluomo trying to debunk the news.

FIJ dialed MC Oluomo’s number, but it was switched off. A text message sent to him had also not been responded to at press time. He had, however, said the allegation was a lie as he was too big to earn from stickers.

Editor’s Note: Sources’ names withheld to prevent witch hunt

Published 23rd Sep, 2022

By Opeyemi Lawal

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