Violent clash erupts in Abeokuta over transport union leadership dispute

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There was palpable fear in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on Monday as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the Ogun State Parks and Garages Management Board clashed over a leadership tussle.


Some of the affected motor parks where fracas were reported are Kuto, Lafenwa, Brewery, Ita Oshin, and Obantoko, among others.

There were reports of gunshots during the ensuing melee while the union members were also said to have inflicted machete injuries on one another.


According to a source, central to the feud is an alleged attempt by the recently reinstated leadership of NURTW under Alhaji Ismail Adewale, popularly called Yaro, to take over the collection of this week’s revenue from motor parks, whereas it is allegedly the turn of OGSPAM.

The source said, “The fracas is about leadership; it is about who is in charge of collecting the union’s tickets for the government.”

It was gathered that these three unions NURTW, OGSPAM, RTEAN were responsible for the collection of revenue for the state government.

The state government had created OGSPAM after NURTW activity was suspended in the state in 2021.

A popular leader of the NURTW, Akeem Abodunrin, known as Iyeru, was made the chairman of OGSPAM to undertake government sales of union tickets in the absence of NURTW.

But in October 2023, the ban was said to have been lifted, and NURTW was brought back under the leadership of Ismail Adewale, popularly called Yaro.

It was further gathered that, early in March, the Commissioner for Transportation, Gbenga Dairo, directed both NURTW and OGSPAM to rotate the sales of the government tickets with the view to foster peace among the unions.

By this arrangement, RTEAN will sell tickets for two weeks while NURTW and OGSPAM will sell tickets for one week, respectively.

Sources in the union, however, told our correspondent that trouble started gathering momentum when the commissioner, again, told the leadership of OGSPAM to step down while NURTW takes over the week that should ordinarily be for OGSPAM.