Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has given reasons for suspending activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
Akeredolu, while speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said security reports indicating an imminent clash between the two opposing unions over leadership tussle led to their suspension.
Olatunde, however, cleared the air that the activities of the union were not banned but suspended for security reasons.
Recall that Akeredolu in a directive issued on Monday by his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy, Dr Doyin Odebowale, instructed both unions to immediately stop collecting dues and levies from commercial transport drivers in the state.
The tickets sold by the transport unions will now be taken over directly by government officials.
Akeredolu also instructed commercial drivers to revert to the old price of N50 per drop.
He added that security operatives have been notified of the new development and have been instructed to deal decisively with defaulters.
Meanwhile, Odebowale said the suspension of the transport union would be for two weeks in the first instance.
Odebowale said the two weeks suspension was to allow both unions to meet and settle their differences to prevent violent clashes between them.
He pointed out that it was greed that was causing the fight as well as money sharing formula between the two transport unions.
According to him, the ticket printed by the Ondo State Internal Revenue Services would be sold to commercial drivers for the sum of N300.
He warned that anybody caught selling any other ticket would be arrested and prosecuted.
He said, “Nobody will be allowed to sell any other ticket under whatever guise in Ondo State. We are releasing our tickets and it is only our tickets that would be sold across the state. We will enforce it. We don’t want to see anybody on the road to be collecting money. We will arrest and jail anybody who tries it. We cannot have two governments in Ondo State.
“The governor has directed that the transports fare be returned to N50. My team will be enforcing the former price regime. We will not allow the citizens to be exploited. Nobody will be permitted to disturb the peace of the state.
“No taxi driver should hide under fuel price increase to hike transport price. We are asking them to revert to what obtains before.”