The Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators (LASPGA) on Saturday kicked against a planned protest by the state chapter of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) in support of one of its affiliates, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), saying the union should abort the plan.
This follows the TUC’s threat to embark on indefinite industrial action in Lagos State over the continuous suspension of RTEAN’s activities with the union saying it would begin a mass protest across the state Monday.
The TUC president, Festus Osifo, stated Friday that the Lagos State Government had technically proscribed RTEAN in the state, leading to a takeover of the motor parks and its office being locked.
According to him, despite numerous letters to the state government, no action has been taken to resolve the concerns raised by a court decision in 2022 to overturn the state government’s suspension order that resulted in a deadly clash among its members.
But LASPAGA, in a statement Saturday by its state Secretary, Mr Abdulrahman Amusan, described the development as “disturbing”, “debasing and demeaning of the position of the mother body to be relegated to chasing shadows”.
The association argued that the existence of LASPGA was in line with the pronouncement of the state government.
It also cautioned the TUC president and his supporters to “abort their planned protest and not to allow itself to be dragged into the stormy water of the Transport Union by Alhaji Musa Muhammed who is the national treasurer of the TUC”.
In its view, the protest would amount to acting in contradiction to the court ruling.
“As a matter of fact, holding a protest of such nature on a Monday in Lagos is targeted at truncating the serenity enjoyed in the state,” the statement added.
See the full statement below:
PRESS STATEMENT DATED, 23rd OF SEPTEMBER, 2023
RE: TUC’S PLANNED PROTEST IN LAGOS: LASPGA DEBUNKS TUC’S CLAIM
The attention of the leadership of the Lagos State Parks and Garages Administrators (LASPGA) has been drawn to a news of a purported planned protest in Lagos State on Monday, September 25, 2023 by the Trade Union Congress (TUC). This news, to us, is not only disturbing, but also debasing and demeaning of the position of the mother body to be relegated to chasing shadows. All the schemes to cause chaos and pandemonium in the state by the leadership of the TUC in the guise of protest is not alien to us. We are familiar with the intrics of Alhaji Musa MUHAMMED and his cohorts in the Trade Union. To us, the planned protest is a case of weeping more than the bereaved.
To put the records straight, the 18th of April judgment of the National Industrial Court (NIC) does not by any means affect the creation of LASPGA, as a matter of fact, there is still a pending case at the Court of Appeal where the verdicts of the NIC is being appealed. TUC as a respected organization should understand the procedures of the court and should therefore respect it. We, however, urge the leadership of the TUC to get their facts right before holding a headless protest.
The public should be in the know that a house divided by itself cannot stand. It is crystal clear that the Road Transport Union itself is suffering from internal conflicts which has led to the body having fractions. The organization has admitted some infiltrators who are dragging it to the mud, and unfortunately, TUC keeps falling prey of their mischievous acts. We wish to advise Comr. Festus Osifo led TUC as an umbrella body that instead of protesting and causing Lagosians lots of troubles, such energy should be deployed to put its house in order.
Additionally at this juncture, we need to state very emphatically that the suspension of Road Transport Employer’s Association (RTEAN) in Lagos was orchestrated by we the members in Lagos State. The Lagos state members were tired of Alhaji Musa Mohammed leadership, reckless and unholy behaviors, abuse of office, divide and rule amongst many which has brought retrogression to the body. All of these built-up dislike for him led to the fracas which caused many lives that occurred at Iyana – Iba area of Lagos. It was this lingering crises that prompted the Lagos state government to intervene so as not to allow the situation to degenerate into breakdown of law and order in the state. It was the critical forensic of the conflict that lead to the suspension of the association in the state. The question begging for answer then is ‘why protest for another’s ineptitude?’
In times past, the TUC is known to be a pro-masses organization that genuinely supports the will of the ordinary people. The fundamental objective and mandate of the TUC is to protect workers from exploitation, marginalization and tyranny, however, we are shocked that some unscrupulous people have hijacked the organization for the selfish and personal gains putting the integrity of the organization in the line. We advise that the TUC review their actions very thoroughly to save the remaining respect people still have for them.
In conclusion, we wish to reiterate that the existence of LASPGA is in line with the pronouncement of Lagos state government. We therefore urge the TUC President and his cohorts to abort their planned protest and not to allow itself to be dragged into the stormy water of the Transport Union by Alhaji Musa Muhammed who his the national treasurer of the TUC. As it will only amount to acting in contradiction with the rulings of the court. As a matter of fact, holding a protest of such nature on a Monday in Lagos is targeted at truncating the serenity enjoyed in the state.
Alhaji Abdulrahman Amusan
State Secretary (LASPAGA)