Chaos erupted in the Garki area of the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday as a violent clash unfolded between two factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers on Sapele Crescent, off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki II, Abuja.
This incident underscores an ongoing dispute within the NURTW, a situation that observers deem in need of immediate federal government intervention to prevent further deterioration of law and order, particularly in the nation’s capital.
Reports indicate that the clash erupted when supporters of NURTW President, Tajudeen Baruwa, marched towards the union’s national headquarters, currently occupied by the Lagos Park Management Committee led by Tajudeen Agbede.
Baruwa had previously sought the involvement of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Labour Congress to resolve the situation, but these efforts proved unsuccessful.
He vowed, “We shall henceforth not hesitate to defend our mandate with the last drop of our blood,” accusing former NURTW leaders of illegally occupying the National Secretariat of the union.
Baruwa emphasized that only a court of competent jurisdiction can invalidate his mandate and urged aggrieved members to follow due process and seek legal redress to avoid potential anarchy.
He further alleged that the former president of the union, Najeem Yasin, and Agbede, the former National Vice President, held unauthorized meetings with selected past leaders of the union.
Baruwa called upon the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, and the Director General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to intervene in the matter, expressing concerns that the police seemed to be favoring the Lagos Park Management Committee.
Although the exact number of casualties, if any, could not be confirmed at the time of this report, eyewitnesses revealed that members of the transport union fired several gunshots into the air during the conflict, heightening tension in the area.
When contacted about the situation, the spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, directed inquiries to the Force Headquarters.
However, the Force PRO, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, did not respond to our correspondent’s queries.