June 8, 2009

Lagos, NURTW deny alleged planned strike

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowopejo

Following a wide spread rumour to disrupt road transport operation in some parts of the state, the leadership of Lagos chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), yesterday, disassociated itself from the speculation, saying there was no such plan by its members to suspend commercial vehicles operations in the state.

In a swift reaction, the state government implored commuters and residents not to panic as there was no such plan to suspend commercial vehicles, activities in the identified area.

Drivers of commercial buses popularly called Molue in the state had, yesterday, circulated among members an unsigned bulletin, intimating all members operating from Oshodi-Sango, Iyana-Ipaja–Sango to embark on two-day strike to protest harassment from the officials of the Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA).

The state Chairman, Alhaji Rafiu Olohunwa, who led other members to address newsmen in Alausa, Ikeja yesterday, explained that the purported strike by some commercial transport operators along Oshodi-Agege-Iyana Ipaja to Sango corridor was not from members of the association but by some disgruntle elements who are seeking attention.

According to him, “the state chapter of NURTW dissociates itself from any act that would disrupt the peace and tranquility of our dear state. No member of the NURTW is involved in the said planned strike. We implore residents of the state to go about their businesses without fear or apprehension.”

Special Adviser to the state government on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, in his response, said: “Attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to rumoured planned action by some disgruntled vehicle (Molue) operators and an unsigned notice to members of NURTW, Lagos State to stay off the road on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th of June, 2009.

“We wish to assure Lagosians to disregard the rumour and the faceless directive. Security operatives have also been alerted to maintain law and order. Lagosians should go about their normal business activities as usual.”

Some of the grievances stated in the bulleting circulated include: illegal services of LASTMA in some aspect of transportation, distribution of commercial vehicles route number, illegal arrest of vehicles among others.