16th March, 2017
The police in Lagos, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) have agreed to collaborate to fight crime in the state.
The agreement was reached on Thursday during a meeting between the police and the two unions at the Police headquarters, Ikeja.
The meeting was convened by the Lagos State Police Command following the Inspector-General’s directive to interact with stakeholders in the sector.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said the current leadership of the police was doing everything to change the ways things were done.
“We decided to interact with you to ensure that we work hand-in-hand with you and discuss as citizens of this country and residents of Lagos.
“This meeting is to proffer solutions to the issue of using commercial vehicles to perpetrate crimes.
“Armed robbers, kidnappers and other criminals have been arrested in the past, who use commercial vehicles to carry out their criminal activities.
“Drivers are the most respected workers abroad because of the way they relate with law enforcement agencies and collaborate in checking crimes.
“I want to use this medium to enjoin you to reiterate to your members to carry out a census of all your members.
“They are to identify dedicated routes for each unit and ensure they adhere to it. This will enable the union to easily identify bad eggs among them,” he said.
The Chairman of RTEAN, Lagos branch, Alhaji Mohammed Musa, said the major problems the union was facing were caused by law enforcement officers, who owned some of the vehicles being used as commercial vehicles.
Musa noted that these vehicles were not registered with the union, and therefore not under their control.
“We like this collaboration and we appreciate the efforts of the police. We have been confronted by criminals in the process of our work, to the extent that we are apprehensive to be on the highway.
“We want more armed security personnel on the road to deter activities of street urchins and other criminal activities.
“These vehicles are the ones who are picking passengers on the road indiscriminately, and when people see them on the road, they say they are our members,” Musa said.
He expressed the union’s readiness to work with the police to rid the union of touts and other bad eggs.
Similarly, the Chairman of NURTW, Lagos branch, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, said they had set up a task force to curtail the activities of people selling alcohol and Indian hemp at motor parks.
“We don’t allow them to sell alcohol. We have task force that monitors them and we sensitise them every Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“We don’t allow anybody to collect money from one bus stop to the other outside our members who wear the white and green uniform.
“Usually, our working period is 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anybody not wearing our uniform is engaging in illegal collection.
“We would continue to educate our members to shun bad conduct and company as well as expose criminals.
“We also want to challenge the police authorities to check some of their men within the rank and file who would want to give the force a bad name,” Agbede said.