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 2, Lagos.
The three dead persons were members of RTEAN, while the injured persons are from both sides. The dead were shot on Wednesday night by armed men suspected to be members of the NURTW.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, 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 gunshot wounds, at the Tin-Can First Gate and Fagbems Gas station on the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway. It was gathered that trouble had been brewing since six weeks ago, until it reached its climax, on Monday.
Daily Sun gathered that the cause of the fight was over ticket fee for truck drivers to gain access into the Apapa Port.
It was gathered that before now, RTEAN issued tickets 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 N2,000. A source disclosed that RTEAN was said to have kicked against NURTW’s involvement, as it argued that NURTW had never been part of the toll collection from the onset, and that truck drivers were members of RTEAN.
It was further gathered that the Lagos State government waded into the matter and ordered the stoppage of issuance and collection of tickets and money by 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.”