There was pandemonium in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday, when members of Road Transport Employers of Nigeria (RTEAN) and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) engaged in a bloody clash over daily fees charged by the drivers’ union.
The fracas which lasted about 45 minutes kept areas like Monatan, Oremeji, Olomi, Agugu, Apata, Iwo road deserted.
Many people were injured in melee in which dangerous weapons including guns were freely used by the two warring sides.
Traders in the ever busy market places had to lock up and flee for safety.
A source was quoted as saying:
“I was at the market when fight broke out. We thought it was between two motor park workers but within five minutes, it spread and dangerous weapons were used in the fight. Where we hid, we heard several gun shots.”
It was gathered that trouble started when some young taxi cab drivers who enjoy the patronage of politicians refused to pay to members of NURTW alleging that they were being extorted by the union. The car owners who are with RTEAN reportedly demanded that the fees should be shared between the two associations which did not go down well with the NURTW. Many people were injured during the fracas.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Adekunle Ajisebutu said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade have deployed policemen to the areas. Ajisebutu also confirmed that many arrests have been made and that normalcy had returned to those areas.