The Lagos State Government has been urged by the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) to order all the state agents of Park and Garages, led by Musilu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, who have up until now occupied the company’s offices, loading and offloading points, to leave the locations in accordance with a previous court order.

Aransiola Qudus, the interim chairman of RTEAN for the state of Lagos, made the call on Thursday while updating the news media on the legal dispute between the organization and the state government.

In the wake of a dispute with its sister union, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, or NURTW, the Lagos State Government announced on September 28, 2022, that RTEAN, its elected executive committee, and its operation in Lagos State would be dissolved. In the interim, Parks and Garages Committee would take over for RTEAN.

According to Qudus, “RTEAN as a law-abiding organization took the matter to a competent court of jurisdiction, the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Suit No: NICN/LA/381/2022. We believe in the rule of law and follow due process.

“RTEAN is a registered trade union that was founded in accordance with Decrees 21 and 22 of 1978 as amended by Decree 1 of 1999 under the senior staff and Employers Association as well as the Trade Union Act CAP T14 laws of the federation 2004, which falls under the exclusive legislative list of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, and has the authority to operate throughout the nation,

“Lagos State inclusive as well as to protect the interests of its members, who are the owners of all categories of commercial vehicles operating in Nigeria, and to control and supervise the activities of loading and offloading of goods and services, eradicate touting and all forms of thuggery and hooliganism in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, as well as to do all that is humanly possible to enhance the reputation and smooth progress of the road transport industry in all of Nigeria, including Lagos State,” the organization’s mission statement reads.

“RTEAN has made a significant contribution to the achievement of security and peace in Lagos State, particularly during the administration of Governor Bola Tinubu when he permitted our union to use our constitutional mandate as a Trade Union in the transport industry to eradicate tout, thuggery, and hooliganism in the motor parks and garages, which resulted in many youths being reformed and turning into employers of labor.

“We are not in any way engaged in a conflict with the Lagos State government, but we do have a mission to complete in order to advance the economy of the country by conveying essential commodities and services.

“A country is made up of various departments, agencies, and parastatals, each with a distinct responsibility. As a federation, we must continue to be law-abiding, peace-loving, and mature in our interactions.

“On April 18, 2023, the National Industrial Court issued its ruling, invalidating the Lagos State Government’s actions and holding that we had the right to operate in Lagos State. The court also dissolved the committee that the Lagos State Government had formed to take over our office and ordered them to leave immediately so that the Executive Committee of our union could continue to occupy it.

The court further prohibited the Lagos State executive governor, his attorney general, and his special assistant on transportation from interfering with the work of the RTEAN executive committee.

The court ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to immediately remove his officers from the RTEAN’s premises and to refrain from deploying his personnel to prevent the Executive Committee from carrying out its duties.

“All parties, particularly the defendants, are expected to abide by the National Industrial Court’s ruling.

Therefore, we are requesting that the Lagos State Government take the necessary action and order all of its agents (Park and Garage) to leave the RTEAN offices as well as our loading and unloading points. We are law-abiding and will always cooperate with the government in the interest of Lagos State and our members, who come from all across the nation. We look forward to developing a mutually beneficial relationship.

We therefore make a request to the Lagos State Government to follow the April 18, 2023, court order and return our secretariat to us as well as remove all RTEAN loading and unloading locations from the state in accordance with the ruling.

“We pledge to work amicably and pro-actively with the State Government and all Lagosians for the good of all.

We would like to take this occasion to once more express our congratulations to our President-elect Bola Tinubu, his Vice Kashim Shettima, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Obafemi Hamzat on their victories in the most recent general elections in 2023 and on their successful inauguration on May 29, 2023.

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