NURTW Election Turns Bloody As Baruwa Emerges National President

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Hyacinth Chinweuba

Two rival groups within the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) at the weekend in Lagos,  engaged themselves in a fight leading to death and wounding of several other members of the groups.

The clash reportedly took place in Apapa Iganmu area of the state.

The two rival groups were members of the NURTW supporting the elected National President, Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa and the Lagos State Chairman, Alhaji Tajuden Agbede, respectively.

The Divisional Police Officer(DPO), lJora Police Station, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Akinola Olufemi, acting on information detailed his men to arrest the situation from degerating further.

The Police subsequently rushed the injured members, including Yusuf Rilwan, Rasheed Olaiya, Hammed Adeniyi and Rilwan Isiaka, to Randle General Hospital, Apapa, road for proper treatment.

Though one of the victims, Yusuf Rilwan, who was  allegedly stabled with knife and soaked with blood, was referred to Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Surulere, Lagos for medical attention  where he later died.

According to Comrade Oyetakin ( a.k. a School boy), the Chairman, Tricycle Owners’ Association of Nigeria(TROAN), Apapa  Branch, Lagos, said “there are two factions of NURTW in Lagos; we have Alhaji Tajudeen Agbde and Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa factions, respectively.” 

He said that the incident happened on Thursday “when news reached us that Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa had been announced as the winner of NURTW election, which held in Abuja. 

“One Friday, our members, who belonged to  the Baruwa group, led by M.C Oluomo and  Sulaiman Kudeti, then organized an open party at the main road, blocked the main road and caused heavy traffic in Ijora Badia while celebrating the winning team”.

According to him, “Initially, our leader, Tajudeen Agbde, had earlier called us that our team had lost the chairmanship position, and as result, we should remain peaceful in our various branches in the state and that  if anybody wants to make an attempt to fight us, we should report such a case  to the police Station. 

‘Because of the party, Comrade Kudeti invited one Lukmon Aalab i( a.k.a Mobil), a wanted and dreaded killer in Surulere area of the State in order to attack our members and kill them”.

He added that, “Our members did not  intend  to attak them based on the instruction given to us  by our leader to remain peaceful. On that faithful Friday, our members were at  the state NURTW secretariat in Oko- Oba Agege, where we organized our own programe.

 “However, when Lukman Allabi arrived  the place, he stated looking for our members; immediately he saw some of them at the office, he started throwing bottles and shooting sporadically at them. In the process  many of them were injured.  But the most painful thing is that, this is not the first time things like this had  happened, that they attacked our members,  injured,  them. Yet they woukd still  go ahead to use Police to arrest us through the ‘Area B’ Area Commander in Apapa.

 “The Area Commander usually sent for  a peace meeting; and whenever we got there, we were arrested and detained, while the others were left free. 

“They have killed our member and detained  members of our own faction’

 He vowed that “We cannot continue with this injustice, the police authorities should intervene and stop biased  investigations by  some of their imen in the area.”

He, however,  appealed to the new leadership of the NURTW to show leadership by example and avoid killing ourselves over any leadership tussle.

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