One person has been shot dead in Akure, the Ondo State capital, in a lingering fight between two factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
The victim, well known as “China” but whose real name is Ademola Adegoyegun, was gunned down by suspected members of a rival faction at Old Garage area of the city centre in the early hours of Tuesday.
Although he is said not a driver, he holds a membership of the union and had been in the forefront of the skirmishes over the leadership of the union in the state.
Two factions of the union had been engaged in a free for all, in an internal struggle over who controls the union’s leadership.
They earlier fought at Owode area on Sunday, cursing serious injuries to many people.
A union member, who is an official in one of the parks in Akure, told PREMIUM TIMES that a rival faction was trying to take over the leadership of the union by force and had been creating crisis all over the parks.
The union official, who did not want to be named, said his head was hit by bottles on Saturday by a group of armed union members.
According to the source, he went into hiding because his life was no longer safe.
“They said they want to take over the union and that is what is happening, and on Saturday, my head was cracked with bottles and I have since left Akure,” he said.
“The problem is all over the park and they want to change the government.”
Confirming the development, the Police Public Relations Officer for Ondo, Tee-Leo Ikoro, said one person died as a result of the clash.
He said the Commissioner of Police had ordered a complete takeover of the parks and other vulnerable areas to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
“We don’t know if the dead person is a member of the union, because he was not wearing their uniform,” said Mr Ikoro.
“That is what investigations will reveal and we are going to ensure we stop further disruption of the peace.”
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Government has announced indefinite suspension of all activities of the NURTW across the state.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Special Duties and strategy, Doyin Odebowale, told journalists on Tuesday in Akure that the government had also ordered the NURTW members to immediately vacate all motor parks across the state.
He said the decision was based on what he described as the unruly and uncultured behaviour of the union leaders which resulted in violent attacks on members and innocent citizens.
The government, however, said the indefinite suspension did not affect RTEAN, who comported themselves in a peaceful manner.
The state government had earlier ordered the suspension of the activities of NURTW and RTEAN for two weeks, over power tussles among the union leaders.
Last month, the Ogun State government banned the NURTW in the state from collecting levies at motor parks.
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