Kwara state proscribes transport union branches


Stephen Oni/ Ilorin

Government of the Nigerian central state of Kwara has announced the proscription of the Offa and Erin-Ile branches of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, over their roles in this year’s violent clashes between the two communities.

The two neighbouring communities in Offa and Oyun local government areas of the state were early this year embroiled in violent clashes leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties worth millions of naira.

Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, who breifed the press on Thursday 23 May in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, after the state’s executive council meeting, said the report of the judicial commission of enquiry set up by the state government and submitted early this month blamed the two unions as the masterminds of the perennial clashes between the two communities.

He said: “The Offa and Erin-Ile branches of NURTW and RTEAN, having been implicated in the immediate causes of the communal crises between both communities due to their intransigence, are hereby proscribed.

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“The proscription will remain in effect until the unions demonstrate that they have imbibed the spirit of cooperation and peaceful coexistence.

“Furthermore, government has directed that Ajegunle and Idi-Agba motor parks in Offa and Erin-Ile, which were identified as major sources of recurring rancour between the two communities are unauthorised and should therefore, be closed down while the, ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs is to ensure that the motor parks which comply with the statutory distance of five kilometres between the two communities are restored.”

Isiaka further said that the Council resolved that the traditional rulers of the two communities should be prevailed upon to harmoniously enter into covenant of peaceful coexistence between the two communities in the interest of long-term peaceful coexistence, development and equity, while the duo should also accept the unity road created as a buffer zone by the state government in the interest of peace and harmonious coexistence. Both communities, he added, must imbibe the spirit of give and take as well as cooperation in view of the fact that land is a natural endowment from God.

The state government had similarly sacked the chairmen of the affected councils in the wake of the crisis.

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