One feared dead, two injured in Lagos tricyclists’ clashes

A fracas involving two factions of commercial tricycle operators in the Alimosho area of Lagos State has led to the death of one unidentified person, while two others were injured. It was learnt that the attack allegedly carried out by a faction loyal to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) happened on AIT Road in Alagbado, a Lagos suburb last Sunday. The Nation gathered that one of those responsible for the attack was hit by stray bullets and he died a few minutes later. The two injured tricyclists are Gbenga Adedayo and Ibrahim Elegbee. The fights were earlier recorded in other parts of the council area including Meiran, Egbeda, Ipaja, Mosan-Okunola, Iyana Ipaja, and Abule Egba, where two persons were also allegedly killed last Saturday, while scores were injured.

The clashes, it was gathered, followed the decision of a faction of the tricylists’ association to disengage from its affiliation to NURTW. A source, who asked not to be named blamed the attack on ‘’NURTW loyalists who have been terrorising our members in order to forcibly annex their parks. ‘’We have reported them to the police and other law enforcement agents because our faction, Tricycle Operators Association of Nigeria(TOAN) is duly registered with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity. An eyewitness who did not want his name in print recalled the incident saying: ‘’Armed thugs came from the Yussuf axis off Kollington bus stop along the Lagos-Abeokuta Road to attack the tricyclists and there was pandemonium in this area.

‘’They came with guns and cutlass and attacked unsuspecting tricyclists. They fired sporadically and some of the bullets hit one of them who died a few minutes later before men of the Alagbado Police Division restored normalcy.’’ The Lagos State Council of NURTW however dissociated itself from the reported attacks involving tricycle operators in parts of the state. The union’s chairman in the state, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede told The Nation on Monday that the state government had revoked the operational approval issued to Tricycle Operators Association of Nigeria (TOAN), adding that the association’s continued operation in some parks belonging to NURTW was illegal and could lead to chaos. His explanation was however faulted by a chieftain of the factional association, who asked not to be named.

He said: ’’NURTW is not being honest in their explanation which has further accentuated their complicity in the mindless attacks on our members. Many of the parks were allocated to our affiliate units by the communities in which they operate and the local government areas. NURTW cannot claim ownership of parks they did not allocate and cannot force out our members from the parks.’’ A source said the warring transporters had signed an undertaking to maintain peace and harmony pending the resolution of the crisis at the state’s Ministry of Transportation on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Sole Administrator, Ayobo-Ipaja Local Council Development Area(LCDA), Hon. Abiodun Agbaje, Commander, Area ‘M’ Police Command, Idimu, Mr Austine Akika, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and the Divisional Police Officer(DPO), Ipaja Police Division, Mr Busari Okunlola, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) have warned perpetrators of the attacks to desist from fomenting trouble in the council development areas in Alimosho constituency. The warnings were issued at the meetings held by the trio at different times in their various offices with stakeholders in the transportation sector following the outbreak of law and order between the NURTW- led Tricycle Owners and Operators of Nigeria (TOOAN) and Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), which recently disengaged from the union to affiliate

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