The Allied Truck Transport Association of Nigeria, Badagry Zone have decried the attack, assault and brutality on its members by the Road Transport Employee Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Union of Road and Transport Workers in Badagry, Lagos State.
Kolawole Onifade, adagry Zonal Chairman of ATTAN, made the complaint in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
According to him, members of the two unions have been attacking his members and preventing them from doing their works on Badagry roads.
Onifade said: “I was on my way to Alaba to buy spare parts for my trucks when the union members attacked one of our members, telling him to collect ticket when he had already collected one before.
“When I challenged them, they beat hell out of me and the driver, and stole the N500,000 I was taking to the market.
“I fainted and they took me to the hospital.
“I did not wake up from the coma until after two days.
“We reported the case at Zone 2 Police Station in Lagos.
“We were there for six months before they transferred the case to Alagbon Police Station, later Area K Zonal Police Station, then the case was charged to Court.”
Onifade said that the bone of contention was that “when they work, they did not want our association to work.
“ATTAN is not fighting them.
“They are the ones fighting us.
“This is our property.
“We have used our money to buy the trucks and the law permits us to keep it.
“Recently, I was invited to the office of the Chairman, Badagry Local Government, Mr. Olusegun Onilude, to receive a letter, but getting there, I was given a letter that said we should not operate in the town.
“We are appealing to the Chairman to withdraw the letter because this can led to anarchy.
“He should allow peace to reign in the land.”
Also speaking, Monday Haisu, the Zonal Vice-Chairman, ATTAN, said that the frequent visits to different Police Stations and Courts daily was disturbing the activities of the members.
Haisu said: “Going to Area K Police Station today, Panti tomorrow and Zone 2 next is really affecting the activities of the members.
“We are fed up.
“The case in Court but still the transport unions are disturbing our members daily, beating them mercilessly anytime they are working.
“Recently, the Chairman, Badagry Local Government, Hon. Olusegun Onilude, wrote a letter to us that he does not recognise our activities again.
“The Chairman said that he wants us to work under the other unions for peace to reign despite the fact that he knows our Union is in every part of Lagos.
“We started operations in 1982.
“Our tippers pay N500 daily to the council.
“We pay our taxes and other requirements.
“We are lawful members of Badagry and we voted for the ruling party in the state.
“We are appealing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos to step into the matter for peace to reign.
“We are begging to withdraw the letter and allow the Court to decide the matter since the case is pending in Court.
“We don’t want this problem to generate to bloody clash like we recently witnessed in Lagos Island.
“Enough is enough.”
Responding, Kehinde Tajudeen, the Coordinator of RTEAN and NURTW, said the tippers association was established to cater for the future of the owners and drivers of the tippers.
Tajudeen said that Onifade had been the chairman of the union before he brought ATTAN to Badagry and asked them to join him.
He said that nobody was fighting ATTAN, but the members should come and apologise so that they will take them back.
Hezekiah Willian, the Chairman, Badagry Tipper Drivers Association, however, said that ATTAN was brought by Onifade in 2021.
According to Willian, the tipper owners and drivers were under the Badagry Joint Tipper Owners and Drivers Association from the beginning, operating with love.
He said: “In 2013, there was another union, Union of Tippers and Quarry Employers of Nigeria, and there was a MoU between the BJTODA and UTKEM.
“There was peace until 2018 when UTKEM extended beyond there boundaries and this led to crisis.
“The crisis led to the introduction of RTEAN and NURTW to take control of the tippers.
“The Chairman of BLG then ordered that the two unions should take control of the tippers’ association.”