By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Lagos State Government, on Monday, brokered a peace meeting between members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and Road Transport Employer Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, over control of garage operations.
The meeting which lasted for four hours was convened by the state government, held in Ikeja.
The meeting was presided over by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka with two unions representatives, led by their Chairmen, NURTW, Alhaji Musiliu Ayinde Akinsanya, (MC Oluomo) and the Vice Chairman RTEAN, Chief Gbenga Elesho, in attendance.
Fayinka, stated that the meeting became expedient following the recent clash between both parties at Obalende Lagos, on Thursday, February 11, 2021, considering erstwhile peaceful cohabitation, hence, the need for the immediate resolution to forestall a reoccurrence.
Responding to the issue that degenerated into the clash, the State Treasurer for NURTW, Mr. Mustapha Adekunle, (Sego) stated that the disagreement was over the control of park unit of which both parties had agreed on its operation.
He further explained that the agreement which has to do with operation of tricycles in one of the Units under the control of RTEAN was denied access by NURTW for their minibuses operation.
Confirming the Treasurer’s position on the issue, the State Chairman, NURTW, MC Oluomo, added that the boundary operations crisis that ensued between the unions could have been averted just as so many others that could have degenerated into crisis had been amicably settled in the past for peace to reign supreme, through stakeholders’ meeting involving NURTW members and RTEAN. He reiterated the peaceful coexistence between both parties, calling for peaceful resolution.
On the part of RTEAN, the State Secretary, Mr. Amusan Olalekan, also explained that the clash was avoidable going by the agreement of both unions to maintain the peace which has existed for long, adding that the crisis could have been avoided if union leaders of both parties had taken proactive measures.
The RTEAN’s Vice Chairman, Chief Gbenga Elesho, stated that some other parks which were initially under the control of his union had been taken over by NURTW part of which cumulated into the clash.
Addressing the two parties on the need for amicable settlement, the Special Adviser urged both parties to meet in the middle for peace to reign. He also requested for suggestions from both parties that will enhance the peaceful resolution.
At the end of the deliberation, both parties agreed that pending the return of tricycle operation by NURTW at Obalende, RTEAN will continue with the operation of their minibuses, with welfare fees paid to NURTW. “This peaceful agreement will be signed by both parties at the Ministry of Transportation tomorrow Thursday, February 16, 2021.