As part of measures aimed at restoring normalcy in Ondo State, the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has suspended the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.
The suspension followed clashes that occurred between two factions of the union in Akure, the Ondo state capital where an unidentified man was said to have been killed during the crossfire.
The incident was said to have occurred around Benin/Ado garage along Ilesha/Owo expressway also left several persons injured and vehicles damaged.
Akeredolu, who spoke on Tuesday through his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, said that the suspension which takes immediate effect would be indefinite.
He added that while the NURTW members would vacate all motor parks across the state and go on indefinite suspension, the directive would not affect the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
According to him, the suspension was to allow the unions to meet and settle their differences in order to prevent violent clashes between them.
Odebowale, who expressed regrets at the spate of unruly behaviour often exhibited by members of the associations at state functions and events, said the government “could no longer put up with such an embarrassing show of shame”.
It would be recalled that the state government recently placed a ban on activities of NURTW and RTEAN as part of measures to restore sanity across motor parks and garages in the state.
The ban which took immediate effect then followed the leadership tussle between the two unions that have led to unrest across the state in recent times.
Aside from the ban placed on the unions’ activities, the government also directed taxi drives across the state to revert fares to the old rate of N50 per drop.
Confirming the development, the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on special duties and strategy, said that the bans extend to all motor parks across the 18 local government areas of the state.
He added that taxi operators would henceforth purchase their tickets directly from the government and that the unions’ members must stop collecting money from taxi drivers and other motorists.
“Every attempt to make life difficult for the people would be restricted and the security agencies have been notified to effect timely arrest and prosecution of the defaulters,” the special adviser told journalists on Monday.