As opposing members of the transport unions clashed in the Ewekoro Local Government’s Itori region on Tuesday, there were numerous gunshots heard throughout Ogun State.
Leaders of the recently approved Ogun State Operations Management Service (OSOMS) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), as well as their Ogun State Park Management (OGSPAM) and RTEAN counterparts, had engaged in a firefight.
Itori Day, a yearly celebration put on by the Olu of Itori, Oba Fatai Akamo, is where the transporters allegedly first met.
Even with Governor Dapo Abiodun and other government officials present, the melee that caused serious bullet and matchette injuries to several union leaders caused hours of festival disruption.
It was said that while some leaders of the unions sustained varying degrees of injuries, those with metaphysical powers proved their mettle by escaping unscathed.
Eyewitness accounts had it that the Chairman of the RTEAN in Ogun, Akibu Titilayo, popularly known as Efele and others were attacked in the fracas.
It was gathered that issues about ticketing, especially as it has to do with the newly created union, OSOMS, had triggered the chaos.
Sources disclosed that the Chairman of OGSPAM, Akeem Abodunrin (aka Iyeru) and his members were not pleased with the new union, which Efele is in support of, being an Ijebu man.
“At least four persons sustained injuries in that riot,” a source told our correspondent anonymously.
Ogun police talks tough, threatens arrests
The Ogun State police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, has confirmed the incident, saying those behind the riot will be brought to book.
Oyeyemi, who said no arrest has been made yet, stressed that the police will not allow any group or individual to turn Ogun into a battlefield.
Though Oyeyemi said the police could not pinpoint those behind the incident, he agreed that they were transport union members in the State.
“It is true there was a riot at Itori Day yesterday, though we didn’t record any casualty. They hoodlums fought one another and went away immediately. But we are on their trail. Because we will not allow these hoodlums to be taking us for granted, we will not!
“One, this is a festive period; second, the election is fast approaching. So, we should not allow some group of thugs to be carrying out thuggery and brigandage in Ogun State. We have sounded that note of warning. All those who perpetrated that crime yesterday, we are on their trail and we will get them.
“We were told they were transport union members, even though we cannot pinpoint anybody. The actual cause of that crisis is what we want to find out and we are going to lay our hands on those who were involved in it,” Oyeyemi threatened.