RTEAN urges Sanwo-Olu to unseal Lagos premises, faults action
The national leadership of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to unseal its premises in Lagos State, assuring to reconcile warring members constitutionally.
Following the fracas in two out of the more than 320 chapters of the association in the state, the governor suspended the entire state branch and appointed a 35-member caretaker committee to run its affairs.
But, addressing a press conference in Abuja through the Deputy National President (Administration), Ambassador Abubakar Muhammad Bishara, RTEAN regretted that the governor acted without recourse to the national body.
He contended that despite the fact that the national president of the association doubles as chairman of the Lagos branch, the governor ought to have reached out to the national body before taking drastic action.
Bishara explained: “Resolving issues embedded in the RTEAN constitution is not his responsibility. In any case, members of the press, it is unfortunate that the very members, who engineered and carried out the fracas, are part of the people the governor appointed as members of the caretaker committee.
“It shows clearly that the governor took sides with those contesting the issue of the President of RTEAN doubling as chairman of Lagos State branch of RTEAN.
“To put the matters in their proper perspective, RTEAN is a trade union duly registered under The Trade Unions Act Cap T14 Laws of the Federation 2004. The association also has its constitution, which is recognised by the registrar of trade unions under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“The operations of trade unions are entirely under the Trade Union Act and the approved constitutions of the trade unions. None of the provisions of the Act confers or gives any power to any state government to suspend the activities of any trade union nor empowers the governor of Lagos State or any other state to appoint a caretaker committee for a trade union as a branch of its. The action of the governor is, therefore, ultra vires and unconstitutional.”
The association, consequently, appealed to the governor to reverse himself.
Bishara argued that since the entire fracas was based on an issue covered by the RTEAN constitution, “one expects that the governor should have advised the aggrieved members to proceed to court to challenge the constitution and not him delving into the matter.”