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Uber, Bolt drivers protest killings by passengers

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DRIVERS under the National Coalition of Ride-Sharing Partners (NACORP) have protested the murder of some of their colleagues by yet-to-be-identified criminals who pose as passengers.

The protest, which was held at the Jabi Lawn Tennis Court in Abuja on Tuesday, had cab drivers who were members of the coalition, sharing unpleasant experiences in the hands of passengers and calling for their profiling by e-hailing companies.

Speaking during the protest, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Coalition Emeka Emerole said the details of the passengers could remain private, but urged the companies to keep their records.

“What we are here for is very simple. What we need is: profile the riders. We’re not asking you to show us their faces. Keep the face, keep the BVN, keep the NIN with you, but let the person know that when something happens, he can be traced,” he said.

Some of the protesters said about four drivers had been killed by riders in the past three months while others had suffered varying degrees of harassment.

Sharing his unpleasant experience with passengers, a driver Friday Samuel Nweke told The ICIR that he barely escaped death in the hands of a passenger who had threatened him with a gun during a ride.

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“He removed a gun. When he removed the gun, I co-operated. By the time I got to Brains and Hammers, I saw some people there. I put off my car, came down from the car and began to call for attention. As I was calling for attention, the guy came out of the car and ran into the bush,” he said.

A female driver, who identified herself as Vivian, noted that while the authorities of e-hailing applications had details of the drivers, there was little or no information on passengers, making it difficult to trace them in case of eventualities.

She also called on the authorities to introduce life insurance schemes that would cater to the families of deceased cab drivers in the events of death.

“For the guys that died, a lot of them left babies at home and wives. We, the drivers, have to come up and contributed N500, N1000, N5000 as the case might be to support them. Please Uber and Bolt, aside profiling your clients, for us the drivers, we need life insurance,” she said.

In September 2020, the drivers had held a protest demanding the profiling of passengers by the companies. Some of the e-hailing organisations have argued that certain measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of both drivers and riders.

An e-hailing company Bolt had told The ICIR that the drivers were encouraged to report misconducts by passengers as a means of monitoring them.

“In relation to riders, our feedback loop goes both ways, and we encourage drivers to rate riders as well and report any misconducts. This two-way feedback is used to administer the platform and provide a safe space for both drivers and passengers,” Bolt said.

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