Lagos suspends NURTW activities indefinitely in Oshodi
Following the violence that led to the death of a leader of Motorcycle Operators’ Association of Lagos State (MOALS) in Oshodi, Alhaji Rasaq Bello, popularly known as Hamburger, the state government yesterday suspended activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in all the seven branches in the area indefinitely.
The affected branches are LOB A, LOB D, LOB J, Oshodi A, Oshodi B, Oshodi C and Oshodi D.
The state government, at a news conference jointly addressed by state officials, the police and NURTW at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, said while the suspension order lasts, there would be no collection of tickets/fees from commuter buses operating in the area.
Addressing the briefing, the Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, said throughout the duration of the suspension, a team of government officials and security personnel would be mandated to oversee and monitor the transport operations within the affected branches to ensure they do not collect any ticket or fees from transport operators.
He said the suspension order was taken after due consultation with all the relevant stakeholders concerning the crisis, and that it would remain in force until peace and tranquility returned to the area, adding that the lifting of the ban would only 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,” Elegushi threatened.
He said as part of the strategies to permanently address incessant crisis arising from activities of transport unions in the state, government has already put in place the Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) through which 5,000 air-conditioned buses would be injected into the transport sector, adding that the initiative would soon be launched.
Also speaking, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations in the state, Mr. Imohimi Edgal, confirmed that some arrests have been made following the crisis and that investigation had started in respect of the violence.
Edgal added that the report of the preliminary investigation by the police would be out before the end of the week.
On his part, Lagos State Chairman of NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, said the branch was in support of the decision of government to suspend all union activities in Oshodi indefinitely, saying that the union was adequately consulted before the action was taken.
“If the union had handled the issue of Oshodi, we would have arrived at the same decision to suspend activities for now and I want to urge our members to cooperate with government in its bid to ensure lasting peace,” he said.