Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment has directed the suspension of all activities by the factions of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) pending an amicable resolution of the dispute.
In a letter signed by Mr. Emmanuel Igbinosun, Director of Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, on behalf of the minister, and addressed to the National President of the union, Lalong said the decision followed the meeting it held with the NURTW executives.
The letter is titled, ‘Leadership Of The National Union Road Transport Workers (NURTW) And Industrial Coup D’état By The Former President Of The Union, Alh Najeem Usman Yasin And His Rampaging Illegal Militia-A Clarion Call For Intervention.’
The letter noted that both factions in the dispute were notified about the development.
The letter read, “Following the meeting held with you on the above subject, I am directed to inform you that, in line with the power conferred on the Honourable Minister of Labour by Section 5 of the Trade Dispute Act CAP T8 Law of Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment has apprehended this dispute.
“In view of the above, the Honourable Minister has directed the suspension of all further activities by the factions of the NURTW pending an amicable resolution of the dispute.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all activities in furtherance of the election of new executives and related to the day-to-day operations of the union are suspended henceforth.
“Further directives would be communicated to you on or before Friday 13th October 2023. This information has also been communicated to the other faction in the dispute.
“Please accept the assurances of the kind regards of the Honourable Minister.”
Recently, a faction of the union led by Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede who came from Lagos State forcefully took over the National Secretariat of the union located at Garki 2 and dislodged the incumbent President, Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa.
Baruwa and three other national officers of the union were recently detained in Abuja by the police over the leadership crisis rocking the union.
Baruwa was invited to a meeting by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Haruna Garba, which was also attended by the faction of Agbede which is also with Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo, who was formerly leading the disbanded Lagos Park Management Committee.
MC Oluomo is an ally of President Bola Tinubu.
Earlier this month, a middle-aged man was beaten up in Abuja by some members of the union loyal to MC Oluomo after he was accused of carrying passengers.
Our correspondent learnt that the incident occurred at Area 1 near Conoil filling station where the yet-to-be-identified young man was detained while his vehicle was impounded.
It was gathered that he was arrested by the task force of the union and forcefully taken to Area 1 office where he was asked to pay the sum of N20,000 as a fine for allegedly carrying passengers along the road.
Trouble started when the man denied the allegation levelled against him and insisted that he did not carry any passengers in his vehicle.
The ensuing altercation resulted in fisticuffs as the man and the leader of the branch exchanged blows, a source told our correspondent.
Other members of the union joined in the brawl and beat the young man till he was almost unconscious.
He was dragged on the floor as they hit him with sticks and iron rods.
It took the timely intervention of some bystanders who intervened to rescue him from the hoodlums who threatened to kill him.