By Ranmilowo Ojalumo
The national President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Tajudeen Baruwa, has stated that the operation of the union in Lagos State and its council executives may be suspended indefinitely.
Baruwa made this know today Tuesday in a statement made available to newsmen. The proposed suspension as a result of the unrest linked to some members of the union that was reported to have claimed lives and left several others with varying degrees of injuries as well as the destruction of property worth millions of naira in Idumota area of Lagos last week Friday.
Baruwa however apologised to the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the crisis, promising that efforts were already ongoing to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the state again.
The Lagos Command of the Nigerian Police, it would be recalled, announced on Monday that it has arrested two chieftains of the transport body in Lagos, Azeez Lawal popularly called Kunle Poly, and Mustapha Adekunle, better known as Tafa Sego in relation to fracas in Idumota.
The statement reads in part: “We are using this medium to pass a strong message to the union’s members in Lagos at large, that state’s council executives and NURTW operations in the state entirely may be suspended indefinitely to allow investigation on the incident to be carried out diligently.
“However, consultations are ongoing with the state government, security agencies, and other stakeholders so as to reach an arrangement on next line of actions which would be determined by the outcome of the reached agreement.
“The state’s council executives and entire members of the union should bear in mind that notice of further action will be communicated upon conclusion by the apex body of the union”.
While further condemning the action, he stressed that the union’s national body was “not in support of such conduct and the ugly incident that occurred at Idumota axis of Lagos Island and we are disassociating the body from any act that is capable of promoting spilling of blood and paralysing businesses as witnessed a few days ago in Lagos.
“In ensuring that appropriate actions were been taken to end such conduct going forward, the union will be working with the Lagos State Government, security agencies, and other stakeholders to investigate as well as go after persons or groups that are behind this re-occurring barbaric display that led to the loss of lives and several properties in the community.
“We hereby assure Lagosians, as the national body of NURTW that something will be done to end such conduct. We cannot continue this way, putting a bad image on the entirety of the Union, this is unacceptable.
“The union is tendering its unreserved apology to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, entire Lagosians over inconvenience the ugly incident may have caused the state, its law-abiding people, businesses that suffered the unrest, most.
“We commend the state government on the quick intervention that brought calm to the community and the body is assuring the government that all erring members who took to violence instead of peace will not go unpunished”.