Chaos engulfed the Garki area of the Federal Capital Territory on Tuesday following a violent clash between two factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers on Sapele Crescent, off Ladoke Akintola Boulevard, Garki II, Abuja.
The conflict underlines an ongoing dispute within the NURTW, a development which observers say requires urgent intervention by the federal government, to prevent further breakdown of law and order, especially in the nation’s capital city.
It was reported that a clash broke out when supporters of the NURTW President, Tajudeen Baruwa, marched towards the union’s national headquarters, which is currently occupied by the Lagos Park Management Committee led by Tajudeen Agbede.
The PUNCH reports that Baruwa had earlier revealed that he sought the intervention of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Labour Congress to resolve the situation, without success.
“We shall henceforth not hesitate to defend our mandate with the last drop of our blood,” Baruwa had earlier vowed while accusing former NURTW leaders of illegally occupying the National Secretariat of the union.
He stressed that only a court of competent jurisdiction can invalidate his mandate, and encouraged aggrieved members to follow due process and seek legal redress, warning that anything short of this could lead to anarchy.
He further accused the former president of the union, Najeem Yasin, and Agbede, the former National Vice President, of holding illegal meetings with selected past leaders of the union.
While calling on the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, and Director General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to intervene in the matter, he alleged that the police seem to be working in favour of the Lagos Park Management Committee.
Though our correspondent could not ascertain the exact number of casualties, if any, as of the time of filing this report, however, eyewitnesses revealed that the transport union members fired several gunshots in the air during the conflict, which caused heightened tension in the area.
When contacted over the development, the spokesperson for the FCT Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh referred our correspondent to the Force Headquarters.
However, the Force PRO, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi did not respond to enquiries by our correspondent.