Tension brewed on Friday in Akure metropolis, the capital of Ondo State, following a clash between commercial motorcyclists and taxi drivers over increased transportation fares occasioned by the hike in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popularly known as petrol.
The taxi drivers who grounded vehicular movements along the busy Oba Adesida/Oyemekun road accused the commercial tricyclists of picking passengers below the fare set by the drivers’ union.
A trip from FUTA Northgate to Oja-Oba had been fixed at N300 by the drivers’ union as against the former price of N200, which the commercial motorcyclists continued with, a situation that angered the drivers.
Following the development, the commercial drivers mobilised on the roads and began discharging passengers being conveyed by the commercial tricyclists.
The situation left many passengers, particularly workers who were on their way to work stranded as they resolved to use ‘okada’ to their offices and destinations.
According to some of the taxi drivers, they would be indebted if they allowed the commercial tricyclists to continue picking up passengers against the agreed price.
One of the taxi drivers, Lekan Oluduro, emphasised that they were not fighting the tricyclists but wanted to ensure they agreed to pick passengers at the new fixed rate, particularly since they now purchase petrol at N500 per litre.
He said: “We have gathered ourselves here because passengers are not ready to pay the new prices of N300 or N200 per drop.
Tricycle riders are taking passengers for N200 instead of N300.
Another driver, Sesan Akinkunmi, said they cannot make a daily balance of N4000 if they buy 30 litres a day for N15,000.
Some of the tricycle riders said since there was free competition, they would benefit from the slight price adjustments.