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NURTW crisis: Lagos CP meets MC Oluomo, Istijabah, reads riot act

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The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi, has met with two factional transport leaders in the state: Musiliu Akinsanya popularly called MC Oluomo; and Azeez Abiola, aka Istijabah.

In a statement on Monday by Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Benjamin Hundeyin, the CP warned that anyone person found causing trouble anywhere within the state would be arrested and made to face the law.

The statement was titled, ‘NURTW Imbroglio: CP Alabi Reads Riot Act To Mischief Makers’.

The CP noted that “the warning has become imperative following incessant clashes, fracas and malicious damage to property recently experienced in some parts of Lagos State mostly linked to the issues surrounding the management of motor parks within the state”.

Alabi was said to have separately met MC Oluomo and Istijabah in his office where “he admonished them to prevail on their teeming followers to act within the confines of the law, is poised to ensure the security currently being enjoyed in Lagos State remains intact”.

“In line with this stance, all Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and tactical commanders have been directed to deal decisively with anyone found instigating or causing a breach of peace within their respective areas of responsibility,” the statement added.

The CP further assured Lagosians to go about their lawful duties without fear of harassment or intimidation.

MC Oluomo, formerly the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and now the chairman of the Lagos State Parks Committee, has been embroiled in a protracted conflict with Istijabah, the state chairman of the Tricycle Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria, an affiliate union of NURTW.

The foot soldiers of the two transport leaders had clashed in parts of the state over the control of parks and ticket sales and lives have been reportedly lost while some persons have been injured.

MC Oluomo had rejected Istijabah as TOOAN chairman in the state and the national body of NURTW in Abuja had suspended him (MC Oluomo) which led to his withdrawal from the union and the suspension of NURTW by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu government.

The governor subsequently appointed MC Oluomo as the parks management committee chairman despite public outrage and warnings of fresh violence.

According to a 2021 report by the International Centre for Investigative Report, the Lagos chapter of NURTW generates about N123.08bn annually, which could service the annual budget of Nasarawa, Niger, and Yobe states put together.