The Niger State government has said it will no longer fold its hands and allow individuals, groups of persons and communities in parts of the state to take law into their hands, causing breach of the peace in the state.
The state’s acting governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso, made the declaration on Sunday, in Minna, the state capital, after an emergency meeting with heads of security agencies in the state at the Government House, Minna, while directing security agencies to, with immediate effect, commence investigation into the bloody clash between the state chapters of National Union of road transport workers (NURTW) and their counterpart, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) which led to a breakdown of law and order and the death of one of the union members, while another one sustained serious injuries and now on admission at the General Hospital, Minna.
Ketso also directed security agencies to effect the arrest of the culprits in the clash for possible prosecution of the suspects.
The directive came on the heels of last Saturday’s bloody face-off between members of the state chapters of the two unions at the Abdulsalam Abubakar Motor Park, Minna.
Metro gathered that hell was let loose Saturday morning, when members of the two transport unions engaged each other in a free-for-all fight at the Abdulsalami Abubakar motor park situated on Minna-Suleja Road, which had led to the suspension of commercial activities at the park, as security agents have sealed off the motor park shortly after the bloody fracas, in order to avoid further casualties from being recorded.
According to an eyewitness’ account, trouble started at about 10 a. m. that fateful Saturday, when a son of a popular car dealer in Minna, simply referred to as Etsu Gwari was attacked by a member of the NURTW over a pending issue and was said to have collapsed.
The source, who craved anonymity, in a brief interview with Metro, disclosed further that on hearing the news of the attack on his son that his people mobilised in their large number and stormed the motor park, destroying everything in sight, unleashing terror on members of the NURTW, leaving one person critically injured, and vandalising vehicles and other properties worth hundreds of thousand of Naira.
Meanwhile, the acting governor, in a press statement by his Press Secretary, Hajiya Maimuna Kolo, on Sunday, in Minna, expressed dismay over the incident which occurred at Abdulsalam Garage Minna between members of NURTW and RTEAN and members of the National Association of Road Transport Owners in the state, which unfortunately claimed one life.
The release, a copy which was obtained by the Metro stated that the acting governor had also set up a committee to be chaired by the state Commissioner for Works and Transport, to identify motor parks in the state and ensure that all commercial vehicles operate within the vicinity of such parks.
This, the release said was imperative, as the state government was planning to work-out modalities for operations of road transport unions in the state, noting that other members of the committee included the three transport unions leaders.