By Ehi Ekhator
The Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shuaibu has allegedly reactivated the proscribed Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) which was banned in Edo State.
Sometimes ago, the Edo State Executive Council Proscribed RTEAN directing them to close their offices across the State. They decided to work with the rival National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW)
The move was seen in some quarters as a political blow on the deputy governor Philip Shuiabu whom some people either wrongly or rightly felt was building a political structure to match the governor’s influence through the proscribed union.
NAIJA CENTER NEWS (NCN) gathered that Philip Shuaibu has allegedly made an under ground move in this regards to undermine the instruction of the State Governor, posing questions as to weather the rumour of discreetly building an army of loyalist is true or not. He is alleged to have called the Head of Etsako West Local Government Administration and instructed him to continue business with the proscribed union behind the governor.
NCN further gathered that he has instructed him to include the names of members of the proscribed union in a list of NURTW members already recruited as enforcers in the collection of tax from drivers.
The source who informed NAIJA CENTER NEWS of the development added “He has also directed the same local government official to hold a formal meeting with members of the proscribed union claiming that if the governor does not recognize the existence of the proscribed union, he the deputy governor does”.
Violence may be inevitable as the NURTW members have vowed to resist working with the banned union and the sudden involvement of the Deputy Governor.
It could be recalled that the two rival unions were locked in a bitter contest on who to control the parks before the ban. What was at stake was that the RTEAN that was very loyal to the Deputy Governor especially in Edo North where he hails from insisted on using the same parks with the members of NURTW. The NURTW members disagreed, asking the rival union to establish their own parks
The clash that would have ensued was avoided when the Governor banned the union after receiving a written petition through the NURTW’s lawyer, Barrister Atamagbon.
Confirming the development to NAIJA CENTER NEWS, the Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Edo North, Comrade Usman Kassim said:”The issue is that the Union we called “Road Employer “wanted to cause clashes in Edo State particularly Edo North. We are hearing that some of them wants to come out and work with National Union and we are begging the Governor, Godwin Obaseki to intervene in the issue.
“They said the deputy governor is the one that said they should work with all the motor parks in Etsako West. We heard he was the one who gave the order. We don’t want trouble, if they said the deputy governor gave them the order, let them go to their park and work because we do not want clashes in our park.
“We have been complying with the State and Local government revenue board without violence. I don’t know why they want to cause problem in Etsako West now.”