An event at the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) secretariat in Abuja turned violent on Tuesday, causing residents to flee amidst the sounds of gunshots.
The attack seems to be part of plans by Mr Akinsanya who has recently rejoined the NURTW, abandoning the Lagos State Parks and Garages Committee (LASPARK) that he chaired with the help of the state government, to reclaim his national stature within the union.
The attack group took control of the national secretariat and forced the officers out of their premises. Curiously, the officers of the State Security Services (SSS) and the Nigeria Police Force, deployed to maintain order and prevent violence, seemed to have transformed into passive spectators, standing on the sidelines as chaos reigned. Their inaction added an unsettling dimension to the already chaotic scene.
MC Oluomo was suspended for a series of allegations in 2022, including insubordination. Although he was later pardoned, his refusal to apologise to his seniors, in accordance with the union’s protocols, resulted in the dissolution of his executive cabinet by the national leadership. As Tajudeen Baruwa’s tenure neared its end, MC Oluomo made a calculated move to support Agbede in his bid to lead the interim caretaker committee that would oversee the union until the next election.
It is expected that Mr Agbede will re-absorb Mr Akinsanya into the union and protect the empire that he unilaterally rules with the backing of state authorities in Lagos, often disregarding national-level coordination and obligations.
As tensions flared, the Baruwa camp rallied its youthful members in an attempt to retake control of the secretariat from the Agbede faction. However, their efforts were thwarted by the intervention of the earlier passive security agents who resorted to firing warning shots to disperse the angry mob. This escalation of force by the police further exacerbated the volatile atmosphere.
Days prior to this tumultuous event, MC Oluomo had released a video announcing his return to the NURTW, citing his disagreements with the Baruwa leadership as the reason for his earlier departure. The fallout from this clash now leaves the union and its leadership in a precarious state, with questions surrounding its future direction and stability in the wake of this explosive confrontation.