By Christopher Oji
Three persons died while many others were injured during a battle of supremacy between members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria(RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW)at Mile-two, Lagos .
The three dead persons were members of RTEAN while the injured persons are from both sides.
The dead were shot Wednesday night by armed men suspected to be members of the National NURTW.
Following the incident, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu has summoned the warring unions to an emergency meeting tomorrow.
The armed NURTW members were said to have invaded the RTEAN park at about 9.15pm in an ongoing violent clash over toll collection from truck drivers, into the Apapa ports.
An earlier attack on Tuesday, reportedly left 15 RTEAN members with gun shot wounds, at the Tin-Can First gate and Fagbems Gas station on the Apapa/Oshodi expressway.
It was gathered that trouble has been brewing since six weeks ago until it reached its climax on Monday.
The Sun gathered that the cause of the fight was over ticket fee for truck drivers to gain access into Apapa Port.
It was gathered that before now, RTEAN issued ticket to its members who are truck drivers, but NURTW was said to have allegedly forced its way into the toll collection from truck drivers. In the process, NURTW was said to have increased the price to N2000.
According to a source,RTEAN was said to have kicked against NURTW’s involvement, as it argued that NURTW had never been part of the toll collection from onset and that truck drivers were members of RTEAN.
It was further gathered that the Lagos State Government waded into the matter and ordered that the stoppage of issuance and collection of ticket and money by e the transport unions.
Daily Sun ,however, gathered that the toll collection continued unabated , until the argument between the warring parties, assumed a violent dimension.
Speaking with Daily Sun on the invasion of their park on Tuesday night, Vice Chairman of RTEAN in Lagos State, Comrade Adeola Adeyemi, said:“As I speak to you, I am at Area ‘E’ Festac, to incident the murder case against members of the NURTW.I have also officially written to the Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, on the attack. We are still waiting to hear from him.”
Part of the petition to Fayinka reads: “ I write to officially brief you about the incessant attacks on my life, business and Union by NURTW members under the leadership of the Chairman NURTW Branch ‘C’, Amuwo Odofin, Prince Ajele Abebi Abayomi, aka ‘Ikomodina’.
“I am a man of dual role a legitimate truck owner who own 15 trucks and a bonafide RTEAN member.
“On Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at about 9:15 P.M NURTW members again launched another attack on RTEAN Truck Park Mile -2 killing three and injuring 30 people with guns and machetes.
“Based on the attacks, I seek the prompt intervention of the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of Transportation and Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation in finding a lasting solution to the attacks by NURTW members”.
Efforts to reach NURTW branch chairman, Ajele, proved abortive as calls made to his mobile phone were neither answered nor were text messages sent, responded to.
Another attack was foiled by the Police yesterday, as they fired tear gas canisters to disperse some hoodlums who gathered at Mile-Two.
It was gathered that the Lagos State Government has summoned leaders of the warring unions to a meeting.
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