Members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria in Ogun State on Monday protested their suspension from the various motor parks in Ogun East.
Governor Dapo Abiodun in June suspended transport union activities in the state because the unions were allegedly engaging in violence.
After suspending the National Union of Road Transport Workers, the RTEAN and others, Abiodun named a 13-man committee headed by Sunday Adeniyi to coordinate their activities.
The placard-carrying protesters, led by the Zonal Chairman, Ijebu Zone III and the state Organising Secretary of the RTEAN, Salisu Alao, stormed the Police Area Command, Igbeba in Ijebu Ode Local Government Area of the state, to register their displeasure at their continued suspension.
Some of the placards read, ‘Don’t take food from our mouths’, ‘We need justice’, ‘Enough of this suffering, we are hungry’, Governor Dapo Abiodun, we want peace in the RTEAN, not crisis’ and Governor Abiodun, your transport committee is biased’.
They accused the transport union committee of protecting the interest of only members of the association loyal to the governor.
Spokesman for the group Alao said some of their members had been going through hardship since they were denied access to the parks in the area.
He said, “We were sent packing from our parks because we are supporting Alhaji Ahmed Kuku.
“We are law-abiding Nigerians and we don’t want any war or crisis, we don’t want to take the law into their own hands, and that is why we are here for a peaceful protest.
“We have not been working since the inauguration of the transport union committee.”
Another leader of the union, Alhaji Isiaka Alowolodun, said they could no longer attend to their immediate needs due to their suspension.
He said, “More than 200 vehicles have been sent out of several parks within Ijebu. We don’t want to engage in violence, hence we are here.
“The government said they appointed the transport union committee to look into the matter within three months, but unfortunately, the period has expired.”
The protesters appealed to the governor to come to their aid.
The Secretary to the transport union committee, Tunji Akinosi, said they were not aware of the RTEAN’s allegations.
He however said the committee was aware of Monday’s protest.
He said, “If you are hungry, a hungry man is not a man that smiles, that is the other end that I have seen from the placards they carried.
“Somebody just brought it to my attention that these people were brought from somewhere, they are not the RTEAN members they are talking about.
“We have sent the photos of the protest to their leaders and up till now they have not replied to say this man wearing blue or white is a member of our union, we have not seen any of them that is a member of their union.”