20th July, 2011
Officials of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, Zone Six, Dopemu, Lagos State, have called on the police to expedite action in the case it brought before it, asking for an investigation into the crisis that rocked the association and a branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, in the state on Monday.
Members of the two bodies reportedly clashed as a result of the alleged illegal dues collected by officials of the NURTW on vehicles belonging to officials of the RTREAN.
The clash, P.M. News learnt, resulted in several people being injured and many commuter buses vandalised.
Recounting how the clash occurred, Vice Chairman of RTREAN, Azeez Abiola, explained that he had joined other members of his association to mediate in an altercation between drivers belonging to their association and officials of the NURTW as a result of an increment in the levies imposed by the latter on the commuter bus drivers
According to him, the total sum of levies each commuter bus driver pays each day amounts to N10,000 at every bus stop between Oshodi, Iyana-Ipaja and Toll Gate area of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. â€œBut now, they increased the levy by N1,000 and the drivers are not happy about it.
â€œCan you imagine that each commuter bus drivers makes a payment of N10,000 to the NURTW everyday, while the driver is expected to balance the owner of the vehicle daily.
â€œWe called a meeting to look into the matter but the members of the NURTW did not honour it. What happened yesterday was that they increased the amount and every attempt to mediate in the issue were rebuffed by them. A fight ensued and several of our drivers were either shot at or injured with cutlasses and broken bottles. They also destroyed our buses,â€ Abiola said.
He said the police have been trying to mediate in the the matter but the NURTW officials have not honoured the invitation. He, therefore, urged the state government to help resolve the crisis before it gets worse.