Lagos suspends transport unions

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

Lagos State Government has suspended all transport unions from operating in Oshodi- a major hub for transport and other commercial activities in the state.

The suspension which takes immediate effect leads to the shutdown of all the seven branches of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) as well as its affiliates in Oshodi and environs.

The step followed recent violent activities among some factions of transport unions which led to the death of two persons.

According to the Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofi Elegushi, “the ban followed the continued violence that attended the death of Alhaji Rasaq Bello, also known as Hamburger, a leader of MOALS (Motorcycle Operators Association of Lagos State), an affiliate of NURTW at Sogunle area of Oshodi.”

Prince Elegushi maintained that while the order lasted, there would be no collection of tickets or fees from commuter buses operating in the area.

Security operations

He added that a team of security personnel and government officials had been mandated to oversee the transport operations within the seven branches, stressing that the official were not to collect tickets or fees either.

“The suspension will remain in force until peace is achieved in the area; this will be based on appropriate security reports, any escalation of the crisis arising from the ban will lead to government taking sterner actions against the branches where violence is recorded,” Prince Elegushi noted.

Arrests made

Speaking in the same vein, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Oluwole Edgal stated that some arrests had been made, saying that those arrested were assisting the police in their investigations.

Although DCP Edgal refused to disclose the number of those in custody, he however assured that the details would be released to the public before the end of the week.

Union’s concurrence

On his part, Lagos State NURTW Chairman, Mr Tajudeen Agbede said the Union leaders were ready to cooperate with the government to maintain peace and tranquillity across motor parks in the state especially in Oshodi.

Mr Agbede also affirmed that disciplinary measures would henceforth be taken against any member found culpable of fomenting trouble as he applauded the steps taken by the government to restore law and order.