Transport Union Rallies For Peace In Oyo

NURTWThe members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State are advocating peace and a truce in the ongoing crisis between labour and government over alleged privatisation of some schools.

Several transporters in their hundreds engaged the public for hours in what they called a ‘walk for peace’, sensitising residents along major roads on the need to shun violence.

The rally was led by the chairman of the union, Mr Taofeek Oyerinde, who condemned the faceoff that took place last week, leading to the indefinite closure of all primary and secondary schools in the state.

The union urged labour unions to choose the path of decency and stop violent protests.

The Governor of Oyo State, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, while addressing the union at the entrance of the Government Secretariat sought labour unions understanding and advised them to dialogue even though they had refused several previous advances.

The Governor also expressed his surprise and pleasure that those who were involved in violence were now leading a good cause to strengthen peace in the state.

Known flash points like Beere, Molete, Mapo, Challenge, Oke Ado, Dugbe, Gate and Agodi- the seat of government, were some of the places the union visited, calling for peace in the land.

No Intention To Sell Schools

Disagreement between labour unions and government started after the government made a decision to involve private sector in the running of schools in the state currently managed by the government.

But the Governor Ajimobi has cleared the air over the raging controversy about the new education policy, which the labour union said was aimed at selling public schools.

In a no holds barred consultative forum on June 8, Governor Ajimobi said the government had no intention to involve private group and individuals in the management of public secondary schools.

He apologised to the people of Oyo State over the crisis which erupted as a result of various misconceptions, admitting that advertorial should not have preceded the forum.

The Governor reiterated that no school was for sale or transfer to any concern and called on residents to join hands with the government to salvage the education sector in the state.


FRSC Warns Against Using Expired And Fairly Used Tyres

frsc, fairly used, expired tyresThe Federal Road Safety Corps has organised an awareness programme for commercial drivers against the usage of expired and fairly used tyres, which it said is responsible for most of the accidents along highways in the country.

The sensitization programme on the need for drivers to use right and quality tyres was held at the premises of the Harmony Transport Services, Ilorin.

In his welcome address, the Kwara State Sector Commander, Sunday Maku, urged drivers to change tyres every four years after manufacturing or after 8,000 kilometres.

He advised drivers to change two tyres at once and they should be at the back and not the front as this would allow proper grip on the road.

Also contributing, the Zone 8 Commander of FRSC, John Meheux, during a demonstration, said that wrong usage of tyres and non-usage of quality could easily lead to accidents.

He urged the drivers to always check the manufacturing and expiry date of tyres constantly.

The Corp Marshall of the FRSC represented by Deputy Corp Marshall, Ademola Lawal, while also condemning the usage of fairly used tyres, admitted that the economic situation of the country might not allow people to purchase new ones.

He, however advised the transport unions to form cooperatives to purchase new tyres in bulk for their members.

The Deputy State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Baba Abata, who spoke in Yoruba, challenged the FRSC to ensure that fairly used tyres are not imported to guard against their usage instead of blaming the commercial drivers.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Corps Marshall told Channels Television that the percentage or actual number of deaths, injuries or accidents as a result of the bad tyres could not be given as it was yet to be computed.

Army To Close Markets In Borno, Yobe

ArmyThe Nigerian Army is set to close some markets in Borno and Yobe states identified for engaging in illegal trade.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman said that the measure is to curtail illicit trading and smuggling in the northeast.

Also speaking at the news conference, the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Major General Nicholas Rogers added that the Nigerian Army is collaborating with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to ensure thorough search of vehicles and commuters and arrest anyone in possession of arms and ammunitions.

Robbery Aftermath: Ekiti Drivers Protest Colleague’s Killing

ekiti driversAngry commercial drivers on Wednesday unleashed mayhem on some policemen on duty at a checkpoint on an expressway in Ekiti State, destroying two of their patrol vehicles.

The group of Ekiti drivers also allegedly attacked the Divisional Police Officer in the Council, Mr Anthony Okpaleye.

The violence followed a robbery on the road which resulted in the death of one of their colleagues, an incident the drivers blamed on Police negligence.

It was reported that the robbery took place between two Police checkpoints along Aramoko-Igede highway.

But the Police spokesman in the state command, Alberto Babayemi debunked the allegation by the Ekiti drivers that the Police did not respond in time.

The driver, Mr Toyin Philips, was reportedly killed by suspected highway robbers at about 7am.

The 18-passenger bus he drove was owned by the late Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Mr Omolafe Aderiye, who was assassinated in September, 2014 by unknown gunmen.

Job Creation Is Key In Curbing Insecurity – Tinubu

TinubuFormer Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has stated that governments at all levels must pay serious attention to job creation for the youth as a way of addressing the lingering insecurity in the nation.

He said that training of the youths to become self-reliant would drastically reduce youth restiveness and engagement in crime and anti-social behaviours.

Tinubu made this assertion at the launching of the first phase of the Kaduna Intra-City Taxi Scheme, initiated by the state government.

The former governor, who commissioned 200 brand new cars for the taxi scheme, noted that change in any system usually comes with gains and pains, hence the need for the people of the state to be patient, as the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, would deliver dividends of democracy to them.

He said that the new transport scheme would create wealth and provide jobs, adding that the advantages of the initiative ranges from economic to sociological security.

He noted that it was an anomaly that the state had no functional mode of transportation within the metropolis.

The former Lagos State Governor, who was elated with the APC programme in the state, reminded the gathering at the Murtala Square that the APC government would fulfil all its campaign promises. He also solicited their support for the government.

While commending Governor El-Rufai for the initiative, Tinubu maintained that the taxi transport scheme is not only an economic empowerment programme that is aimed at creating wealth and jobs alone, but would also reduce the rate of crime in Kaduna State.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai in his speech, said that Kaduna State, being the defunct headquarters of the north, deserved descent cabs.

Members of the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) also thanked the Governor for the gesture.

Police Give 2-Week Ultimatum To Unregistered Vehicles

IGPThe Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Solomon Arase, has advised transporters in the country to register with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and ensure that their vehicle particulars are up to date within two weeks.

Mr Arase made this declaration during a meeting with the national leadership of the NURTW.

The meeting, according to the NURTW, was to commend the Police for the ongoing reorganisation of the system which has led to better policing.

The IGP said that while the Police would continue to sanitize its system, it would not take it lightly with any transporter found on the wrong side of the law.

The Police Chief also warned that failure to comply with the directives would lead to the seizure of any vehicle found wanting.

To this end, the grace of two weeks was announced for all affected transporters to comply with laid down procedures or face the wrath of the law.

FRSC To Enforce Speed Limiters From Sept 1, 2015

frscThe Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and NUPENG have threatened to restrain movement of petroleum tanker drivers without the speed limiters or reflective tapes from September 1, 2015.

The FRSC Corp Marshall, Mr Oyeyemi Boboye, who made the threat at a national summit on the haulage industry in Abuja, added that it would also collaborate with the Vehicle Inspection Office to ensure adequate capacity development training among officers.

He said that the training would enable efficiency to appropriately check vehicles for faulty parts including tyres to reduce the frequency of deaths, accidents and damages on the highways.

Other participants including the NUPENG, NURTW and petroleum tanker drivers appealed to the government to help in areas of training of tanker drivers.

They also asked for help in putting an end to attacks on its members.

Borno Government Assist Boko Haram Victims

bornoThe Borno state government is assisting victims of Boko Haram attacks, to reduce the effect of their losses.

The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria are the latest beneficiaries of the state government’s intervention programmes.

Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, in a ceremony, gave out 450 Sienna buses to transport workers at 50 per cent subsidized rate.

Governor Shettima applauded the bravery of those in the transport business, for their courage amidst insurgent activities.

The Governor also cautioned residents against traveling to their home towns for the general elections, adding that designated polling units in makeshift camps would serve the same purpose.

Kwara State: Governor Ahmed Distributes Vehicles To Transporters

governor ahmedThe Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has distributed 70 vehicles to transporters across the state to improve their economic well being.

This is the second phase of the vehicle distribution and it includes 50 taxis and 20 buses, in which the beneficiaries expressed their readiness to ensure the victory of the Governor and all APC candidates at the polls.

The Governor had in 2014 launched the programme called ‘Soludero’, which means bringing life to a town, where 100 taxis were given to transporters in the state.

Governor Ahmed believes that the revolving micro credit scheme which cost about 75 million naira, would go a long way in transforming the lives of the beneficiaries positively.

The Governor also enumerated various intervention programmes to other sectors which include 2 billion naira Micro Credit to small business owners, over 200 million naira to market men and women, among others.

Governor Ahmed also solicited the support of transporters in the state to emerge victorious in the election, in other to elevate the state economically for the next 4 years.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Abdulrasheed Ariyo, expressed appreciation to the state government for initiating what he called “life changing programmes in the state”.

Ariyo promised that the beneficiaries would not default in the repayment of the loans, in other to allow others benefit from the scheme.

The State Deputy Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Abdullah Gilado, also praised the initiative of the Governor, which he believed had automatically earned him a second chance.

Abuja Taxi Drivers Call For Peaceful Polls

Taxi DriversTaxi drivers in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, have joined the league of groups calling on candidates of political parties and their supporters to shun violence and vote for peace during the February polls.

The taxi drivers gathered in their dozens at the Unity Fountain to stage a ‘drive for peace’ and support for the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, at the weekend.

They hoped to mobilize their members to vote for the incumbent whose administration, they said, has impacted positively on them.

Nigeria’s general elections are only two weeks away and aside rallying support for the President, the group of taxi drivers said that the exercise was also targeted at sensitizing members, and other party supporters on the need to vote peacefully during the polls.

Nigerians will go to the polls in February 14 for the presidential elections and February the 28 to elect governors and legislators in the states and at the federal level.

Political parties and their supporters have less than 14 days to canvass support for their candidates.

Kaduna Beefs Up Security At Motor Parks, Public Places

PoliceThe Police and other Security agencies in Kaduna State have deployed more men to motor parks and other strategic areas in the state ahead of the Christmas and New Year holiday to ensure a hitch-free celebration.

The Kaduna State Police command said that they had made adequate arrangements to ensure that public places, including churches, markets and recreational centres were well secured during the period.

The Kaduna State Police Command spokesman, Aminu Lawan, said in a statement that the command, in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, had designed measures to ensure the safety of residents and motorists at all parts of the state during the period.

He called on the public to be vigilant and also put security measures in place in their places of worship during the Christmas service in view of the current security situation in the north.

To forestall any breakdown of law and order at motor parks, passengers were subjected to thorough security checks on their vehicles and luggage by officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

This measure, according to the Union’s Chairman, is to ensure that the security of passengers is guaranteed at the motor park and to avoid attack by terrorists.

Channels Television’s correspondent went round the state capital and reports that policemen were deployed to all major streets and roads while officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps were also on ground to maintain orderliness on the roads.

On their part, the passengers traveling to different parts of the country, complained increase in transportation fares which they said had doubled due to the Christmas celebration.

Commercial drivers blamed the increase on the scarcity of fuel in the state. In the state capital, only few petrol stations were seen selling fuel to motorists despite the suspension of the three day warning strike by oil workers.

There were, long queues at petrol stations where the product is available. This has significantly affected the movement of people within and outside the state.

However, the spokesman for the North-West Zonal office of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Rabiu Bello , told Channels Television, shortly after inspecting some petrol stations within the metropolis, that there was enough fuel to serve motorists during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

He disclosed that 94 trucks of PMS had been deployed to the state on Monday while more were expected. He also said that the agency had sealed three petrol stations for diversion of PMS and warned that the agency would not hesitate to sanction any marketer found indulging in an unwholesome practice.

UCH Doctors Embark On Strike Over Attacks By Motorists

The Association of Resident Doctors, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, on Monday declared a three-day strike in protest against an attack on two of their members by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State.

Some doctors were among persons allegedly attacked by NURTW members while waiting to receive the body of their Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Kamorudeen Beyioku, who was shot earlier in the week by unknown gunmen.

President of the Resident Doctors in UCH, Dr. Tunde Babasanya, during a media conference on Monday explained his members had resolved to embark on a three-day strike to express their anger at the treatment meted out to doctors at the hospital.

“It is sad and the situation is getting out of hand. Many of our members have been victimised and the undeserving treatment is fast becoming a norm” he said.

“Last year, a doctor was attacked with gun at the Accident and Emergency Unit. That same year, a female doctor was dragged on the floor, while another doctor was reportedly beaten up at the Children Emergency Unit.

“We agreed on a 72-hour strike, believing that the management would meet us midway before the expiration of the strike and we would review the situation. The action is directed at sending a message to the transport union members to stop harassing us.”

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Temitope Alonge, condemned the action of the association, saying “we came to work this morning only to meet an illegal strike action by the resident doctors.

“We managed an important personality who had a gunshot wound to his upper tummy. We removed the bullets in his abdominal cavity and he was responding well until we discovered that he had renal impairment. He had the first dialysis and while he was about to receive the second one, he had cardiac arrest and passed away.

“It was between the process of autopsy and the release of his remains for burial that a medical officer was assaulted. While we are not in support of this we are also not in support of the strike. Strike is not the solution. When there is dispute, the proper thing is to report to the authorities. But there was no formal report in this case.”