Ekiti commercial drivers on rampage over arrest of colleague by Fayose
There was a breach of the peace on Tuesday as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers(NURTW) went on a violent protest over the detention of a member of the union at the instance of the state governor, Ayo Fayose.
The drivers were angry that Ahmed Kolo, a driver, was arrested and arraigned for allegedly being rude to the governor.
Mr. Kolo was said to have driven recklessly against Mr. Fayose on September 24 when the governor drove himself to Ajilosun area in Ado Ekiti.
He was immediately arraigned at the Ado Ekiti Magistrate’s court for traffic offence.
The union claimed that the arraignment was against a promise made by the governor that he had forgiven the driver.
The protest which started on Monday, became violent with the protesting drivers setting bonfires on the highways.
“One of us was shot at Ajilosun very close to Fayose market. There is no way we won’t revenge the killing. We are even going to burn down police station if that boy dies,” a driver who would not want to named told reporters on Tuesday.
He also refused to give further details on the victim’s whereabouts and the hospital he was taken to.
The drivers damaged vehicles parked on the road, including a Toyota Avensis marked Ondo AKR 657 FW belonging to one Florence Olukolade, and maltreated passers-by and commuters .
There was shooting and brandishing of dangerous weapons as they marched along the streets to register their displeasure.
They also hurled stones at the anti-riot policemen who were deployed in the area to quell the crisis.
It took the over 100 policemen drafted to the area more than three hours to restore normalcy in the area.
Traders at the popular Erekesan Market, hurriedly removed their goods, locked up their shops and scampered for safety.
The Secretary to the State Government, Modupe Alade, said the arraigned driver was rude to the governor and refused to apologise, saying his action resulted to his arrest and arraignment for traffic offence.
“This driver drove recklessly against the convoy and he was arrested,” she said.
“Rather than apologising, he was rude to the governor.
“The governor asked them to come and apologise , but they refused.
“The governor as a no-nonsense person who won’t tolerate any threat from
anybody. And not until he apologised, he won’t be released.”
The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Alberto Adeyemi, said nobody was shot.
“Let me make it clear, nobody was shot by our men and we have not even arrested anybody. We are dialoguing with the leadership of the driver unions and we are sure that the matter will be resolved soon,” he explained.