Scores of Ghanaians were left stranded at various lorry stations as drivers embarked on strike action across the country.
Many of these disappointed passengers walked several kilometres to their work places, as the striking drivers would not even permit any of their colleagues, who decided not to join the strike to convey them.
Stations turned to football pitch
Reports were rife that some of the lorry stations, particularly in Accra, were momentarily turned into playing grounds.
Drivers and mates alike abandoned their vehicles and played football at the lorry stations, whilst the frustrated passengers looked on.
Both the Kasoa and Ashaiman lorry stations, all in the Greater Accra region, witnessed the football games, during which the drivers and their mates were seen enjoying the holiday.
Defiant drivers stopped
Whereas some drivers obeyed the strike action initiated by their union leaders, others did the opposite.
Their reason was that vehicle owners expected them to make sales at the end of the day and may not take the strike action as an excuse.
However, the determined protesters, especially at Lapaz and Shiashie, did not permit these drivers to pick up passengers.
Any vehicle seen with passengers was stopped and the passengers made to alight, with the only option of trekking or staying at the station.
The driver attributed the strike action to the recent astronomic hikes in fuel prices, though there had been a marginal reduction.
They asserted that the hikes were affecting their work as they spent a lot of money on fuel every day, a situation they need the government to address.
The drivers, led by their union, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), claimed that strikes and demonstrations were the only language that every government understands.
Passengers who were left stranded could not control their frustrations over the incident. Apart from being late for work, walking all the distance to work was something they never anticipated.
Some preferred the increase in fares to having no commercial vehicles working, as a repetition of yesterday’s strike, according to commuters, may not be pleasant.
E-transport fare up
The ordeal of the commuters yesterday was a good avenue for Uber and Bolt, electronic transport services, to cash in.
Their fares increased dramatically, to the surprise of many, who chose to use that as an alternative to the strike of the usual commercial vehicles.
A trip which hitherto cost GH¢10 increased to about GH¢50 or more. Several pictures of trip estimates were shared on social media by patrons who expressed disgust.
Later in the day, the GPRTU issued a statement to suspend the strike. The statement said that the presidency had intervened and invited the leadership of the union to a meeting in the evening of yesterday.
“The intended strike action, which was scheduled to take effect today, Monday, December 6, 2021, has been suspended,” the statement signed by General Secretary, Godfred Abulbire said.
He concluded the statement by saying: “The leadership of the union has been invited to the presidency during the course of the day. We, therefore, entreat our cherished members to go back to their normal duties.”
Meanwhile, at the time of filing this report in the evening of yesterday, some vehicles had hit the road.
Also, there had not been any information about the meeting between the government and the leadership of the GPRTU.