By Benjamin Alade
30 October 2020
Professional E-hailing Drivers and Private-owners Association (PEDPA) has suspended its proposed strike action due to the unrest ravaging the country caused by the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
PEDPA had stated that drivers would embark on indefinite strike action on Monday, October 26 owing to the unhealthy competition between app companies, which has been to the detriment of e-hailing driver-partners’ labour investments.
In a statement signed by its National President, PEPDA, Idris Oluwaseun Shonuga, the entire country, especially Lagos State, has in recent days as a result of protest, witnessed an unprecedented violence resulting in loss of lives and properties.
Shonuga said: “As fallout of this chaos has not been completely resolved, the government at this time is still struggling to put the situation under control. Hence, staging a protest amidst this chaotic period might trigger harsh and unfavorable reactions from the government and the security personnel”.
According to him, in order to get the best result, there will be a need to create local government structures so as to make enforcement effective and give drivers the needed attention in terms of welfare.
In his words: “Soon as the situation is under control and businesses return to normal, we shall call for an admin meeting wherein we shall brainstorm and come up with the most suitable date for the community.
“Until then, we are seriously working behind the scene to fully establish the 20 LGA structures in Lagos state. This will help us effectively hit our target without leaving any stone unturned. That we need to set up working modalities between E-hailing driver-partners community and app companies, he said.
Meanwhile, PEDPA has called on Nigerian youths to embrace constructive dialogue in demanding good governance from the government.
The association under the affiliate of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) sympathised greatly with the family of those that lost their lives in the struggle and prayed God grant the families affected the fortitude to bear the loss.
“We often hear the sayings: to every action, there must be a reaction. This played out in the recent happenings resulting from the protest, which has lasted for about 15 days. What started as a peaceful and admirable protest ended in violence, vandalism and bloodshed!
“As a result of the properties and offices that were burnt in the process, the reality on ground as we speak is that innocent citizens like you and I numbering into hundreds if not thousands will be jobless! These individuals also have dependents. So, what that means is twice or thrice that figure will feel the negative impacts greatly!
In view of the incidents, PEDPA called on the drivers’ community and the youths at large to embrace constructive dialogue in order to get their demands from the governments.
“Whatever our agitations are, it will still end up in a round table discussion. And we allow the government the time to implement. That way, we can begin to see those decisions put to action and we witness true reforms in the areas of concerns and the governance,” Shonuga said.