Police take over Ado-Ekiti motor parks as drivers’ crisis escalates

RTEAN members protest with dangerous weapons on streets

The Ekiti State Police Command has taken control of major motor-parks in Ado-Ekiti over fears of a breakdown of law and order in the town.

The action followed the crisis rocking the Ekiti State chapter of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN.

The members, who started a protest on Friday in Ado Ekiti, have been protesting round the town, clutching dangerous weapons such as cutlasses and guns.

They called for the removal of the state chairman of the union, Rotimi Olanbiwonu, for having spent nine years on the seat contrary to the eight years specified in the union’s constitution.

They also accused the embattled chairman of highhandedness, alleging that he collected huge sums of money from the state government as empowerment for members and diverted it to private use.

The police has, however, threatened to arrest leaders of the union if the violence drags on beyond Tuesday.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, Victor Babayemi, handed down the warning on Monday in Ado Ekiti.

He said the police would not fold their arms and allow the crisis to threaten the security and relative peace in the state.

Mr. Babayemi added that as a result of the crisis, the rights of innocent citizens were being violated by the protesting rival members of the union leading to traffic jam in the state capital.

“We are aware of individuals’ rights to protest, but such protest should not trample on the rights of other citizens. We are warning that we will arrest the leaders of the union and heads of units if the crisis drags on. We owe Ekiti people a duty to keep peace at all times and this we will do to ensure security of lives and property of the populace,” he said.

He urged the aggrieved RTEAN members to adhere strictly to the resolution reached at a meeting on Saturday of officials of the state government and police officers aimed at stemming the violence.

(NAN)

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