The Nigeria Automobile Technicians (NATA), Lagos State chapter, on Tuesday, picketed the state’s House of Assembly over alleged illegal take-over of mechanic villages by the state government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the placard-carrying auto technicians, who defied the heavy rainfall, were seen chanting various solidarity songs during the protest.
The inscriptions on their placards included: “Lagos State Government stop killing us”; “Stop illegal demolition of mechanic villages in Lagos now!”.
Others were “Destroying people’s livelihoods contribute to crime and insecurity, stop it”; “Ifelagba mechanic village was sold for N300 million, where is the money”.
Earlier, the technicians had gathered at the Allen Round About in Ikeja and marched to the state assembly, disrupting free flow of traffic on the busy Obafemi Awolowo way.
The workers were, however, denied entry into the assembly by security agents who barricaded the entrance.
Speaking, NATA Chairman, Mr Jacob Fayehun, expressed dismay over the alleged take-over of the mechanic villages by the state, saying it had resulted in untimely death of some of its members.
According to him, eight of its members have died in the last six months; some suffered strokes and other ailments, with over N500 million in loss of income.
“We are here to protest the illegal demolition of our mechanic villages given to us in 1981 by late governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
“The time it was given to us, most of those areas were swampy, but we developed, maintained and made them habitable for our work.“Now, the Ministry of Physical Planning, through Mr Toyin Soyinka, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, has taken over, demolishing our workshops and selling the places to highest bidders,” he said. (Vanguard)