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Lagos govt reads riot act to transport union, after fracas claimed three lives



Lagos govt reads riot act to transport union, after fracas claimed three lives

The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) was issued a warning by the Lagos State Government on Wednesday not to disturb the state’s ongoing peace and tranquillity.

The warning was issued in a statement by Mr. Sola Giwa, the special adviser to the governor on transportation.

He issued the warning after fighting broke out in some areas of the state as a result of a protest by some RTEAN members calling for the ouster of their association’s national president.

Giwa stated that the protest-related altercations that took place at Iyana-Iba and Lagos Island earlier in the day were being looked into by the state administration.

The administration will not accept the collapse of law and order in the state, the Special Adviser warned the union members while urging them to remain calm.

He assured that the situation had been communicated to the police commissioner, who had sent officers to the affected districts to handle it.

Giwa declared that the state was looking into the claims by the members of the protesting association and that it would settle all outstanding issues.

“The government has listened to your outcry.

“We urge you to maintain peace as we will not hesitate to invoke the Lagos State riot act when necessary”, he said.

Giwa reiterated the need for unions to always adopt peaceful ways of resolving their differences, rather than resorting to fracas and violence.

He promised to make the outcome of the investigation public when concluded.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that no fewer than three members of a rival group belonging to the RTEAN, were feared dead while several others sustained injuries during a clash at Iyana-Iba, Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, yesterday.

The clash, which started in the early hours was due to a tussle over the control and right for the sale of tickets and collection of tolls from commercial buses at Ojo park and environs.

The altercation reportedly started as a result of a protest by certain RTEAN members who demanded the dismissal of the association’s national president due to his alleged meddlesomeness.

Read also: MC Oluomo denies claim he forced N500 sticker fee on Lagos transporters to support Tinubu’s presidential bid

Babatunde Kazeem, a competing group’s leader, accused Musa Muhammed, the national president of RTEAN, of interfering with the administration of the state’s union out of self-interest.

Kazeem said, “three of our members have been killed by the invading rival group sponsored by the national body, while one other is on the danger list at the hospital where he was rushed to.

“Muhammad can’t be the president of the union and at the same time chairman of the state.

“We need a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the union pending the election of substantive officers. He is intimidating us with the use of law enforcement agencies. We do not want war in RTEAN Lagos State, we want peace.

“We, hereby, call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene by calling the National President and his boys to order before the crisis snowballs into full-scale violence.”

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