Scores injured as NURTW, RTEAN clash over Lagos park

Scores were injured on Thursday when members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers clashed in the Obalende area of Lagos State.

It was gathered that passersby, residents and business owners operating in the area fled for safety as the groups exchanged gunfire around 7am.

The hoodlums reportedly used different weapons, including guns, which created tension in the area.

A resident, Afeez Ilesanmi, said the fight was over the Obalende motor park.

He said, “The RTEAN members drive cabs, while the NURTW drive buses. The park in question belongs to the NURTW, but because the RTEAN wanted to take it over, they attacked the NURTW members around 7am today (Thursday). They actually hired hoodlums to take over the park for them. Their mercenaries opened gunfire on the NURTW members, who resisted them. Nobody died, but many people got injured. One of the people contracted was arrested and he confessed that they were brought from Ikorodu.”

Newsmen obtained a video showing one Ranti Ibrahim, who claimed to have been hired from the Ikorodu area.

He said, “I only held bottle water; I belong to road union. I got here around 7am, but some people were already here before we came. I was sent by my leaders from Ikorodu to take over the Obalende park. My members released some bullets during the attack, but I had no gun.”

A spokesperson for the NURTW, Lagos State chapter, Jimoh Buhari, said Ibrahim had been handed over to the police.

“We have three unions in Lagos, but there are two major groups – NURTW and RTEAN. Each of the unions has its motor park. The RTEAN went to Obalende to attack our men. The road employee union, whose members put on yellow uniform, attacked our men, who put on white and green uniform,” he added.

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The state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, said six suspects had been arrested over the incident, adding that normalcy had been restored in the area.

Adejobi said, “The command has deployed resources to disperse and suppress the hoodlums fomenting trouble in the Obalende area of Lagos State. Normalcy has been restored in the area.

“Six suspected hoodlums were arrested and handed over to the State CID, Panti, Yaba, for discreet investigation. The state Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, warned that the command would not condone any act of lawlessness and criminality in the state.

“He, however, directed the Area Commander, Area A, Lion Building, ACP Bode Ojajuni, to intensify efforts at flushing the hoodlums out of the area and on the Lagos Island in general with available resources deployed in the area command. The leaders of transport unions in the area, however, have been invited for interrogation and further actions.”

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