TRAGEDY struck in Minna, Niger State, on Saturday, as fracas between members of the state chapters of Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), led to the death of one person and another one injured.
Trouble began around 8:30 a.m. at the Abdulsalami Abubakar motor park in Tunga, on the outskirts of Minna, when the two union members engaged one another in a fight over whose turn it was to pick a passenger travelling out of the town.
Sunday Tribune gathered that when an unidentified passenger arrived at the park and made an attempt to board one of the inter-state taxi cabs belonging to a member of the RTEAN, some members of the NURTW challenged the driver of the cab, insisting that it was not the turn of the RTEAN members to pick passengers.
They were said to have prevented the passenger from entering a vehicle belonging to member of the NURTW who was also calling for passengers travelling out of Minna at the time, which the passenger obliged, to the dissatisfaction of members of RTEAN present at the park.
No sooner had the earlier driver and member of the RTEAN, from whose vehicle the passenger was being taken than member raised the alarm, resulting in a free-for-all between members of the opposing transport unions at the park.
The two unions resorted to the use of weapons, while people around called the attention of the Niger State Police Command to the situation.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Niger State Police Command, Mr. Bala Ekana, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the incident.
“We were called by some concerned citizens to go to the park to arrest the situation and we dispatched some of our men to the park. But on their arrival near the scene, some of the hoodlums sighted the police and fled in different directions.”