Akeredolu suspends NURTW activities as factions clash

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Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has ordered indefinite suspension of the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

The governor said he will no longer allow transport unions or any other body to sell tickets to commercial drivers.

He said it was greed pushing factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to clash over sale of tickets.

The comments of Governor Akeredolu followed continued clash between factions of the NURTW, which has led to the killing of one person. Several persons were injured, while vehicles were vandalised.

Akeredolu last Monday suspended NURTW and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) from motor parks for two weeks over fears of possible clash.

On Sunday, eight persons were injured in a clash at Owode when thugs reportedly loyal to Ondo Chairman of the NURTW, Mr. Jacob Adebo Idajo, attacked some NURTW members opposed to Idajo leadership.

The clash continued yesterday at Ola garage in Akure despite a peace meeting convened at the weekend in Osun State and attended by factions.

One person was shot dead and several others injured. Vehicles were vandalised.

The victim was identified as Ademola Ademoyegun Shina, while Adeyemi Samuel Ojuyobo and Akinyemi Bayo were injured.

Both factions were reportedly summoned by the National Chairman of the NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa and the Zonal Chairman, Olamilekan Salami to Osogbo on Monday for a peace meeting, which ended in a deadlock.

Sources said Idajo was advised to bring peace to the Ondo chapter of the union to allow the union resume operation at the garage the following day.

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A leader of the other faction against Idajo leadership, Mr. Toyin Olaoye Fayagbe, said: “Some of us were still at home this morning when our members called that they were being beaten at the park once they were identified as one of the delegates to the Osogbo meeting. It was in the process that a group of about 30 armed thugs approached the park and opened fire on them, killing one and leaving two injured.”

Speaking through his Special Adviser on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr.

Doyin Odebowale, Governor Akeredolu said the government would continue selling tickets to commercial drivers.

Said he: “No union ticket will be sold in Ondo. You do not come and sell ticket from sundry sources. You collect money directly and still be beating and injuring people.

“We never wanted to send many people off the road so as not to create a social problem. We have a state to run. The tickets were given to the two factions and monitored by our office. If they were not greedy, that should be okay for them. The idea of one individual sitting in one corner and collecting money meant for the state is over. No more selling of union tickets in Ondo.”

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