Don’t be used to manipulate 2023 elections, RTEAN warns members
**Says it has no preferred candidate
The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has warned its members against being used as political thugs to disrupt and manipulate the 2023 elections.
This is as the association declared that it has no preferred candidates in the February 25, presidential and national assembly elections.
President of RTEAN, Amb. Musa Muhammed Maitakobi, stated this on Monday, during the association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the RTEAN’s headquarters in Abuja.
He was responding to allegations that some politicians usually arm RTEAN members to cause chaos during elections.
At the event, members of the association from the six geo-political zones and 36 states of the federation also endorsed the second-term bid of Maitakobi as president of the association.
Maitakobi stated: “Today being February 20, 2023, we have a special message to our members throughout the federation. The message is simple. Members of RTEAN, anywhere you find yourself, don’t be allowed to be used as tout or hooliganism. I know our members are law-abiding citizens and we as an association will not allow any member to involve himself in any trouble.
“If you look at our constitution, it tells us to take steps to eradicate touting, hooliganism and cultism. That is what we are trying to let the government know. A lot of things are happening in states where they suspend our operations in the country.
“The thugs and cultists have taken over our job in some states where they suspend our operations. We don’t know these thugs. They (politicians) use them for their campaigns. They are not our members. Our members are operating in line with the constitution.
“All our state chairmen and secretaries should therefore call our members and address them. They should not allow themselves to be used in any form of thuggery or crisis. We need peace in this country. I also urge all the state chairmen to corporate with the security agencies throughout the federation.”
Speaking on endorsing a candidate for the elections, he insisted that the association is neutral and would not engage in partisan politics.
“Our constitution did not tell me to have a preference among people contesting elections. Our constitution does not recognise ethnicity, religion and politics”, he stated.
On the union’s relationship with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the forthcoming elections, he explained why the association is yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the electoral umpire for the movement of logistics during elections
“We are vehicle owners. We are not drivers and we are representing the federal republic of Nigeria in the trade union act. We can’t go otherwise. INEC knows we are here and they know our headquarters. If they invite us, we will go and if they don’t we can’t push ourselves to INEC. If you want to know the reason why we are yet to sign an MoU, it is better to communicate with the INEC chairman and ask him why he didn’t invite RTEAN this year”.
Speaking, Secretary General RTEAN, Comrade Yusuf Adeniyi, said members of the association decided to pass a vote of confidence on Maitakobi because of his track record.
“We passed a vote of confidence on our national president because of his hard work and he is a good team leader. Right from when he served as the state chairman for our Lagos state chapter, he has made our association proud. He is one of the best leaders we ever had in the union and therefore, we are passing a vote of confidence on his leadership and that he should be our sole presidential candidate during our next Congress in April.”