If you’re new to the road, you would mistake them for the driver’s mate, or probably some good Samaritans.
They wait at bus stops for the trotro (public transport) to park and once the mate (bus conductor) starts calling for passengers: “circle alajo carprice circle…” they start repeating after him.
Here’s the tricky part, once the trotro is about to take off, they demand a share of the money, perhaps for their role in getting the passengers aboard. Mostly they take GH¢1 but sometimes they have the effrontery to demand more; keyword, demand!
Their role in getting the car full is practically zero. They are just a bunch of lazy and irresponsible young men who extort money from the mates.
Some of them actually fight the mates should they refuse to give them the money or not enough as they demand.
That’s the first group.
Other radical ones take certain bus stops by force and compel commercial drivers to give them a percentage of their earnings before allowing them to patronise any of the buses stops in their custody.
They are not affiliated to any transport union like GPRTU or PROTOA. These are people who believe they have the upper body strength and by virtue of growing up in the community, own the stops somehow.
These two sects of people have created a public nuisance which besides leading to disturbing the public peace, leaves passengers who are caught in the middle of the altercation, between the drivers and these hooligans stranded.
The disturbing issue is some of them are now armed. I saw a couple of them at Circle with clubs and sticks a few days ago.
We must be concerned about the infectious nature of crime and how it gives a signal for others to also become lawless.
For now, they pose no threat to the politicos so we can ignore them but soon, very soon… I dare to predict the political class will notice them and then the harm on the nation’s image would be done.
Ayawaso West Wuogon was an embarrassment to all of us. Something must be done about bus stop guards and it must be done now! A stitch in time they say saves 10; or is it nine?