Alh Azeez Abiola, the Lagos State, Chairman of Tricycle Owners and Operators of Nigeria (TOOAN) on Saturday called for a separate identity and independent body for the union to enable it address the welfare of its members.
Alh Abiola popularly known as Istijaba made the call While addressing newsmen against the backdrop of the recent clashes between the members of the union and the members of the Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State.
The Lagos State Union boss also appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to help wade into the current leadership crisis that have engulfed the union in the past few years.
“Our union has been existing for over 20 years now, but there was a time we experienced leadership crisis in which we were called upon to choose between the NURTW and Road Transport Employers Association (RTEAN), the existing union in the state.
“We are then affiliated with the NURTW and since then we have been paying our dues and other levies directly to the union spanning the two previous administration of NURTW executives.
“However, while we are affiliated with the NURTW, we have our activities controlled by our local executives until recently when the newly appointed NURTW boss, Alh Musliu Akinsola popular known as MC Oluomo, called for dissolution of our executives.
“After the dissolution of our executives by the incumbent administration of NURTW, caretaker administrators in form of zones were imposed on us, those that are not directly involved in our business,” he said.
Alh Abiola said the TOOAN as a separate union had to write a petition to the National body of the NURTW in Abuja to state the plight of the Lagos union which was resolved amicably.
“We wrote a petition to the national body of NURTW in Abuja and we are called for a parley together with the NURTW Lagos excos where we stated our claims and we as TOOAN were asked to go back to the status quo.
“The resolution of the meeting which had in attendance all the management of the NURTW national body was that we should choose executive among TOOAN for Lagos chapter since we are just an affiliate member of NURTW.
“We are also instructed to pay all our dues and levies to the Lagos state chapter of the NURTW which we all accented to a copy of the resolutions in the meeting is available.
“Under the new arrangements and resolution I was chosen to be the new chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of TOOAN on February 9 and the national body of NURTW directed that we should continue to operate in our existing state office,” he said.
Alh Abiola then noted that things took a new turn as the Lagos State chapter of NURTW failed to honour the gentleman’s agreement and resolutions in Abuja with the sealing of the TOOAN’s office in Lagos.
“After the successful deliberations with the national body of NURTW in Abuja, I was summoned by the Lagos State chapter of NURTW for a meeting which turned out to be a different reaction from the Abuja parley as I was attacked.