Ride-hailing company, Bolt has reacted to the news of three of its drivers shot dead by car snatchers in Port Harcourt and Abuja. In an exclusive statement to Technext, the online taxi-hailing company said the team is aware of the sad incident and is saddened by it.
While empathising with the victims’ families, the company commended the police for carrying out a swift investigation which it believes will lead to justice being served at the end.
“Bolt is aware of this unfortunate incident and is saddened about it. We extend our sympathies to the victims and their families. The safety of both our drivers and riders remains a high priority for us. Bolt also commends the police for their swift action in carrying out the investigation into this unfortunate incident and trusts that justice will be served. We are in contact with the bereaved family and we will extend our support during this challenging period,” Bolt told Technext.
The company also said it was in contact with all necessary parties and pledged to support the ongoing police investigation.
Finally, the Estonia-based company said it will continue to keep the public informed as more information becomes available to it.
More on the killing of 3 Uber and Bolt drivers
Technext reported on Friday that three e-hailing drivers were reportedly shot dead in cold blood by car snatchers in Port Harcourt and Abuja. The three e-hailing drivers and one mechanic were shot dead in different areas across the state and at different times.
According to a letter to the Commissioner of Police signed by the Secretary of the union, Comrade Ibrahim Ayoade, two of the deceased drivers, Emmanuel Daniel and Roland Asuru, as well as a mechanic, John Okon were shot dead in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital. A third driver, Kelvin Oga was shot dead in Abuja. The incident, however, took place on the same day, October 10.
Part of the statement reads:
“On the 10th of October 2023, in the space of one to three hours, a presumed gang(s) of armed robbers between the hours of 7.30 pm and 10 pm killed three drivers of a Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Golf-3 in an attempt to snatch their cars.
The three victims Emmanuel Daniel, Roland Asuru and a mechanic John Okon were each brutally murdered in D-Line (which has become lately notorious for car theft and armed robbery incidences), Wopara Street in Old GRA, and Abakiliki by Nanka Street in Diobu respectively.
The first victim, Mr Emmanuel Daniel, is one of us and a registered E-hailing driver He has left a widow and his three helpless young children confused and in shock.”
In a Vanguard report, the President of the Union, Comrade Adedamola Adeniran said the fourth driver, Kelvin Oga was shot dead in the Galadimawa area of Abuja.
Drivers demand NIN registration for passengers
Following the killing of their fellow drivers, e-hailing drivers trooped out with banners and placards to protest against Uber and Bolt for failure to protect drivers on their platforms.
As part of their protests, e-hailing drivers in Nigeria are calling for the use of the National Identification Number (NIN) to verify passengers by e-hailing companies, Uber and Bolt. This is coming after three e-hailing drivers registered under the Uber and Bolt platform were reportedly shot dead by gunmen in Port Harcourt and Abuja according to a letter to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police and seen by Technext.
The call was made by the President of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transporters of Nigeria, Comrade Adedamola Adeniran. The president believes such a move would prevent future attacks on his members.
“As a registered trade union with the responsibility to protect our members against preventable circumstances like this, we are making a call on the government to, as a matter of urgency, direct the Ministry of Transport, Science, and Digital Economy or any relevant ministry to direct these app companies to capture National Identity Number of the passenger before ordering a ride,” he said.
While reiterating that the safety of its drivers and riders is a top priority, Bolt pointed out that it has implemented several safety features that are continuously evaluated and improved. These measures include:
- Driver and rider trip-sharing allows both drivers and riders to share the status of their live trips with a third party, who has the opportunity to follow the trip in real time. The trips are also tracked and monitored in real-time by Bolt throughout the journey.
- SOS emergency button that can be used to ask local authorities for emergency support.
- Rider and driver rating score that allows drivers and riders to rate each other after every trip. We take the ratings very seriously and block drivers and riders who score significantly low.
- Bolt provides insurance covering injuries or personal effects damage caused by incidents that occur during active trips.
Whether these safety measures have been effective in guaranteeing the safety and security of drivers on its platform is another matter entirely.
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