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NURTW member killed, two policemen shot in Lagos


Deserted Idumota market, yesterday

• Govt bans union activities on Lagos Island over internal crisis

Gunmen in the early hours of yesterday invaded a meeting organized by leader of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on Lagos Island, leaving one person dead while two policemen allegedly sustained gunshot wounds at the end of the shooting spree. Several other persons were said to have sustained varying degrees of injuries.

It was gathered that the union’s leader on the Island, Kunle Folly, was having a meeting with members of the respective garages at midnight. Midway into the meeting, Folly reportedly stepped out to ease himself, accompanied by two policemen and his personal assistant identified simply as Pero.
Immediately they got outside the three-storey building, they were rattled by sporadic gunshots from some hoodlums said to be drinking opposite the building. The non-commissioned policemen, it was gathered, put up an act of bravery as they responded fire-for-fire, but eyewitnesses said the cops were hit by bullets in the legs, ribs and hands.

When the dust settled, the injured were rushed to the hospital where Pero was confirmed dead. It was gathered that Pero’s body was secretly buried few hours later. One of those in attendance, who simply gave his name as Muftau, said: “He had to be buried secretly because we did not want his loyalists to act otherwise.”
As at yesterday, the entire area was still tensed and shops were under locks for fear of a reprisal attack. The attack, according to a member of the union, was suspected to have been carried out by hoodlums from Agarawu area of Lagos Island. As at 12noon yesterday, news filtered in that there was move to carry out a reprisal attack at Agarawu. Text messages were also sent to love ones to avoid the area.

However, policemen comprising both conventional and mobile policemen were immediately drafted to maintain peace in the area. Efforts to get the reaction of the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Chike Oti, proved abortive. 

Meanwhile, following the crisis rocking the NURTW, the state government yesterday ordered the immediate suspension of all union activities on the island indefinitely. The Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who disclosed this shortly after the Security Council Meeting held at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja and chaired by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, said the decision was to forestall any further breakdown of law and order and ensure that the peace in the area is not hampered. 

Edgal, while urging members of the NURTW in Lagos Island to comply with the directive, said government would not hesitate to totally proscribe all union activities if members continue to disturb the peace in the area. 

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