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Ogun transport unions clash over leadership,revenue collection

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There was palpable fear in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on Monday as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Ogun State Parks and Garages Management Board clashed over revenue collection.

Some of the affected motor parks where fracas were reported are Kuto, Lafenwa, Brewery, Ita Oshin, and Obantoko, among others.

 

There were reports of gunshots during the ensuing melee, while the union members were also said to have macheted themselves.

 

Central to this feud, according to a source, was an alleged attempt by the recently reinstated leadership of the NURTW under Alhaji Ismail Adewale, popularly called Yaro, to take over the collection of this week’s revenue from motor parks, whereas it is allegedly the turn of OGSPAM.

 

The source said, “The fracas is about leadership; it is about who is in charge of collecting the union’s tickets for the government.”

 

It was gathered that these three unions, NURTW, OGSPAM, and RTEAN, were responsible for the collection of revenue for the state government.

 

The state government had created OGSPAM after NURTW activity was suspended in the state in 2021.

 

A popular leader of the NURTW, Akeem Abodunrin, known as Iyeru, was made the chairman of OGSPAM to undertake the government sales of union tickets in the absence of NURTW.

 

But in October 2023, the ban was said to have been lifted, and NURTW was brought back under the leadership of Ismail Adewale, popularly called Yaro.

 

It was further gathered that early in March, the Commissioner for Transportation, Engr. Gbenga Dairo, directed both NURTW and OGSPAM to rotate the sales of the government tickets with the view to fostering peace among the unions.

 

By this arrangement, RTEAN will sell tickets for two weeks while NURTW and OGSPAM will sell tickets for one week respectively.

 

Sources in the union, however, told our correspondent that trouble started gathering momentum when the commissioner again told the leadership of OGSPAM to step down while NURTW takes over the week that should ordinarily be for OGSPAM.

 

Our correspondent who visited Panseke, Kuto, Lafenwa, and Brewery motor parks in Abeokuta saw the presence of heavily armed policemen standing at strategic locations of the parks to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

 

Efforts made to get the transport commissioner to react to this incident proved abortive as he neither picked up the calls put across to him nor responded to the enquiry sent to him on WhatsApp.

 

Speaking on the development, the Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, confirmed the development, adding that the situation had been brought under control.

 

He also debunked claims by some media houses that lives have been lost in a fracas connected to transport unions in the state.

 

Alamutu said, “The security agents and the government have stepped into the situation, the police are out there to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order. In fact, I am just leaving a meeting held with the government over the matter, so everything is fine, and let me also add that nobody was killed in the incident.”

 

Credit: punchng.com

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