One person was killed while several others were injured when two factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) clashed at Ijora Badia area of Lagos State.
The Friday clash was between supporters of the state NURTW Chairman, Alhaji Tajuden Agbede and the newly elected National President, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa.
It was learnt that Comrade Sulaimon Kudeti, branch ‘B’ Chairman, loyal to Baruwa, allegedly blocked the main road at Ijora 7up and started a party to mark the emergence of Baruwa as the new national president.
The union election took place in Abuja, where Baruwa defeated Agbede. Members loyal to Agbede, on the same day, also organised a party to encourage Agbede, even though he lost the election.
It was alleged that members, believed to be loyal to Baruwa, crashed Agbede’s faction’s party, armed with guns, machetes, axes and charms.
The two factions were also accused of not getting approval from the police and Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area, before blocking the roads for their parties.
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Ijora Police Station, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Akinola Olufemi, was said to have led some of his men to the scene of the mayhem to restore order. The injured victims were rushed to hospital for treatment.
A member, who sustained a knife injury, was referred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Surulere, Lagos, for medical attention. He was confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital.
The Chairman of Tricycle Owners’ Association of Nigeria (TROAN), Apapa Branch, Comrade Oyetakin alias School Boy, said: “There are two factions of NURTW in the state. The incident occurred on Friday after news filtered into the town that Baruwa had been declared the winner of the National President of NURTW, in the election held in Abuja.
“Our leader, Tajudeen Agbede, had earlier called us that our team lost the President position. He said that we should remain calm in our various branches.
He said that if anyone wants to fight us, we should report such a case to the police immediately. It is because of the celebration that (someone) invited a known killer in Surulere to attack our members. When the killer got to the place, he started looking for Agbede’s faction.
“Immediately he saw some of us, he started hurling bottles and shooting sporadically into our midst. In the process, many of us were injured. This is not the first time things like these would be happening. Several of our members were injured and one person died.
“The Area Commander called for a peace meeting, and when we got there, he ordered four of our members to be arrested and detained. Those that are loyal to
Baruwa were allowed to go scot free. Now our member has been killed and others detained.”
The Chairman, NURTW, Branch B, Apapa, Comrade Ismaila Ojora, said: “Whenever the other faction attacked or killed our members, they would thereafter run to police and ensure that our members were arrested and detained. None of the Baruwa faction, who perpetrated the crime, were arrested.”