Drivers Union Clash In Ekiti Leaves Several Wounded

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Ex Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose

By: OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti

Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital was thrown into confusion on Tuesday when members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria(RTEAN) clashed over alleged change of guard within the union and several people reportedly wounded.

RTEAN had been engulfed in crisis since a faction loyal to the former Chairman of the union, Mr. Rotimi Olabiwonnu and six others were released from the prison through court judgement  since January, 2018

Olabiwonnu and others were arrested over alleged  connection  with the murder of the former Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) in Ekiti, Chief Omolafe Aderiye.

They were kept in the prison for over three years before they were set free by a judgement of the court.

Aderiye was murdered by suspected assassins in his office in Ado- Ekiti on September 24, 2014 at the twilight of Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s first term tenure.

What fueled the crisis was the alleged arrest of Olabiwonnu by the
police , which some of his loyalists misinterpreted to be another
ploy to put him in detention

However,there were sporadic gunshots along Ijigbo and Old Garage up to Okeyinmi area  in Ado- Ekiti on Tuesday by rival groups over a violent clash between Olabiwonnu and Samuel Agbede groups.

Shop owners around the area and other locations within the state
capital hurriedly closed their  shops at about 12 noon and returned
home.

Those loyal to Olabiwonnu had been making effort to take over
leadership in all RTEAN units even before Fayemi even won the
election.

While Olabiwonnu is a loyalist of the Governor –elect, Dr. Fayemi,
Agbede, the Chairman of RTEAN is a close ally of  Governor Ayodele
Fayose.

The popular Oja Oba that was always busy could not operate for several hours as gunshots by members of the driver union rented the air.

Eyewitness revealed that several people were reportedly wounded as they fled in different directions to prevent being killed  and the
victims were said to be receiving treatments in the hospital.

Following tension generated by crisis, the police immediate drafted
their men and cordoned off the flash points, by erecting barricades,
which prevented motorists from plying that road for several hours.

When called for confirmation, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),Ekiti Command, Mr. Caleb Ikechukwu, DSP said the situation has been put under control.

Ikechukwu said no arrest has been made in connection with the crisis,
assuring that policemen have been deployed in all the areas affected
to quell the crisis.

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