Drivers’ union clash in Ondo leaves scores wounded

By Samuel Faleye, Akure

Members of the Ondo State chapter of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the rival National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) engaged themselves in a free for all on Thursday over the control of in the state capital, Akure.

In all, no fewer than 10 members of both association were on said to have sustained serious injuries during the clash at their motor park along Oba Adesida road, Akure.

It was also gathered that properties belonging to the association and some personal belongings were destroyed during the clash.

The state chairman of RTEAN, Mr. Williams Adepoju alleged that the state Commissioner for Transport Mr Nicholas Tofowomo led some thugs to the motor parks to foment trouble.

He said the Commissioner has not hidden his hatred for the RTEAN and was always seeking ways to frustrate members of the RTEAN in the state.

“On that fateful day the commissioner led some leaders of the state branch NURTW and some suspected thugs to some parks on Adesida road and allegedly ordered them (thugs) to be destroying the vehicles that belong to RTEAN members only.”

He said “last Friday we wrote to the security agents and the state government that NURTW wanted to attack us but they did not do anything to it, what we saw on Tuesday night was that Tofowomo came to our mparks in Akure and Ondo at about 11pm in company of some NURTW leaders in the state and thugs. He said we don’t have the right to be operating in the town.”

“It was in his presence that the NURTW thugs started matcheting our members and destroying their vehicles but we are law abiding people and we don’t want to fight back, that is why we are calling on the state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to call Tofowomo to order.

 

He should allow us to operate because there is  freedom of association in Nigeria and our members have the choice under the law not to join the NURTW.”

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