RESIDENTS of the State of Osun have expressed fear over the one-ticketing system for commercial transporters in the state, saying it may lead to the rise in the menace of louts and extortionists, popularly called ‘Omo Onile’.
It would be recalled that the State Governor, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, recently appointed an 11-man Disciplinary Committee that would supervise the public transportation system divided into vehicle and cycle sectors in the state.
Adeleke, in a statement by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, said: “the new policy is a one-ticketing system approach across the state and will create thousands of temporary jobs and also boost our revenue-generating capacity and help improve our economy”.
He also said the new system will eradicate the insecurity, destruction of properties, and killings experienced by commuters when rival union groups attack each other, adding that only the state government will be selling tickets for commercial drivers.
However, the development has created fear in the mind of some residents of the state, as they believed most of the people collecting ticket money from commercial vehicle operators for the unions might resort to alternative sources of income that will not be far from extortionate practices.
Speaking with the medium, Mr. Adejumo Adebayo, a resident of Kobongbogboe area, Osogbo, said the one ticketing system may cause more harm to residents of the state, if the government does not put measures in place.
According to him, members of the transport unions form core part of Omo Onile disturbing land owners in the state, adding that with the new ticketing system, more members of the unions may become landgrabbers and extortionists.
He said: “In as much as I welcome the development, I fear that it may do more harm than good if the government does not put all measures in place.
“We all know what the land owners are facing in the hands of Omo Onile and now that members of the transport unions have been told not to collect or sell tickets on behalf of the government, this may lead to an increase in their nefarious activities”.
“My appeal to the state government is to find a way to calm the nerves of the union members so that peace will reign in the state”.
In his word, a commercial driver, Samuel Atanda, lauded the governor for the initiative, saying it will reduce the hardship drivers went through in the hands of the union members.
Atanda who said he used to collect multiple tickets on daily basis, urged the government to see through the initiative and ease the burden of commercial drivers in the state.
He, however, said the development may cause violence in the state, urging the state government and security operatives to be on alert.
“When I heard about the one-ticketing system, I was very happy because it will reduce the burden on commercial transporters in the state.
“The money we are paying for tickets on daily basis is too much and I know with this system, we will be able to save more money.
“My fear is just that members of the unions may result to causing violence in the state since they are no longer selling tickets, but I hope the government and the security agencies will be proactive”.
Anybody Causing Violence Will Be Lawfully Dealt With – Consultant
Speaking with newsmen, the consultant to the state government on Motor Park Management, Prof. Abdulrahman Afonja, warned those planning to disrupt the peace of the state to have a rethink, saying anyone caught causing violence will be dealt with.
According to Afonja, the new transport management system gave no other person the right to sell tickets except those contracted by the state government, adding that anyone caught selling tickets will be prosecuted by the law.
Afonja said: “It is one ticketing system which is the state government. No other person has the right to sell a ticket on behalf of the government, except those contacted by the consultant.
“We have let the union members know that they cannot sell multiple tickets and make the state unbearable for commercial drivers in Osun state.
“If anybody is directly caught selling a ticket aside from the state ticket, the person will be prosecuted by the law. Governor Adeleke is bringing this system to stop extortion by this unions.
“Anybody causing a nuisance in the state will be dealt with by the law. The governor is the Chief Security Officer and he won’t allow violence in the state. Unless you want to ruin your own future, stay away from violence, respect the law, respect the government and its policies”.