BY Emma Amaize & Akpokona Omafuaire
WARRI—DELTA State Commercial Motorcycles and Tricycles Union of Nigeria, DSCMTUN, has denied any involvement in the killing of a 24-year-old commercial tricycle operator, Friday Igwe, allegedly by 15 taskforce members on February 10, in Effurun, Delta State.
DSCMTUN’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Thompson Ochuko, told newsmen in Warri, weekend, that the deceased, from Amofia Ngbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, was never registered with the union.
“We were shocked to read that our taskforce members killed one of our operators. That is not true, as none of our members was killed, neither did our taskforce members kill anyone,” he said.
Ochuko said that there were dissident groups, which also parade themselves as tricycle and motorcycle unions, adding: “It is a shame that some people are resorting to falsehood to soil the name of our union. We were also shocked by the date of the occurrence, which coincided with the day the other group protested at Ebrumede.
So it could not have been done by our taskforce members.
“There were several unions until May 21, 2012, when the state government ordered that all unions be harmonised. After the harmonisation, some people came up with factional groups like KRA and NATOMORA.
“This led to an ongoing legal battle. The Police and the Ministry of Transport also called for a unification in order to curb criminality. This led to the coding of tricycles and taxis. The dissident groups also came up with their code and they have their taskforces also. All our members have identifications,” he added.
However, a rights group, Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, Delta State, reacting, said: “The union’s defence is an afterthought and we challenge and call on the state executive of the union to courageously surrender the members of the union’s Uvwie chapter executive and task force to the Police with a view to availing the Police of their defence in writing rather than resorting to hide and seek tactics under the pretext that their union was the only tricycle and motorcycle union recognised by the Delta State Government.”