Following the recent violence that erupted at Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin axis between the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Amuwo division, the Lagos State Government has declared that further clashes will attract a suspension of their activities in the area.
Speaking at a meeting with both parties, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, averred that the State Government will proceed with dealing with the case as soon as the Nigerian Police presents the report of the crisis, stressing that the problem of multiple levies on truckers by the Unions around the axis triggered the dispute.
Expressing his disappointment at the unfortunate incident that left three people dead, Fayinka warned the unions to beware of infiltrators as this will spoil their reputation and lead to an abrupt end of their activities by the State Government, as the safety of lives and property is sacrosanct.
The Special Adviser assured that necessary steps are being taken to nip the reprisals in the bud, warning that the present administration will not hesitate to suspend union activities if they impede the peace, development and progress.
“There is room for improvement and we will improve. Because of the rivalry, we had mediated between both parties on many occasions. We are going to solve this at the root. We will do our job as the Government of the day”, Fayinka stated.
The Vice-Chairman, RTEAN and Head of Haulage, Comrade Adeola Adeyemi, explained that the NURTW had breached the agreement earlier signed by both parties, stating that their violent insistence on selling tickets suspended by the Lagos State Government to truckers registered under RTEAN had resulted in the death of the members last week.
On his part, the Branch Secretary of NURTW, Amuwo, Comrade Adewale Adeyemi, stated that the Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA) was responsible for the evacuation at Fatgbems which ignited the crisis, adding that the members of NURTW went to dislodge the violators of the aforementioned agreement before handing them over to the police.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Kamar Olowoshago described the ugly incident that occurred at Mile 2 as avoidable, unnecessary and unfair, imploring both parties and stakeholders to abide by the resolutions reached during the meeting.
The highlight of the meeting was the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by both NURTW and RTEAN agreeing that none of the Unions will collect tolls from trailers/trucks in any form or disguise. The gathering also agreed to constitute a Seven-Member Committee consisting of three members each from the unions and an official from the Ministry of Transportation to establish areas of conflict and recommendations within a month.
Stakeholders present at the peace meeting include Alhaji AbdulRamanu Amusan, State Secretary, RTEAN; Alhaji Olabode Ogungbade, Zonal Chairman, RTEAN; Deputy State Chairman, NURTW and other official members of both unions.