By Dayo Johnson
Ondo State Government, yesterday, suspended the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW and the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, in the state, as a result of the recent leadership crisis in the two unions.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, said that the suspension is with immediate effect.
He directed the leadership of the unions to vacate motor parks across the 18 local government areas of the state and to stop collecting dues from taxi drivers and other motorists across the state.
Odebowale, who also directed Taxi drivers to revert to the old price of N50 per drop across the state, said: “Every attempt to make life difficult for the masses would be restricted by the state government.”
The state government had directed residents of the state to reject the hike in taxi fare introduced by the NURTW.
Also, commercial drivers operating under the RTEAN rejected the hike in transport fares in Akure metropolis and other parts of the state pitching them against the NURTW.
The NURTW increased the transport fares from N50 per drop to N100.
The state government, however, dissociated itself from the reported hike which the union said necessitated the upward review of the taxi fare.
In his reactions, the Special Adviser to the governor on Transport, Tobi Ogunleye said the government was not part of the increase.
Ogunleye, who blamed the drivers union, NURTW for inflicting pains on the people said: “I don’t know how they arrived at that but I want to distant this government out of that. The government by our position we don’t have the authority and power to intervene in the business of any union.
“The issue of N700 per ticket is strange to us, it is quite embarrassing.
“From history, NURTW had not been yielding anything for the state, Okada riders, Tricycle drivers have always yielded appreciable revenue for the government and they did not increase their fare.”