Twelve persons were injured and many motorcycles destroyed yesterday during a clash between commercial motorcyclists aka okada riders and National Union of Road Transports Workers (NURTW) members in Igando.
Among the injured were Abdullahi Lawal, who is in hospital, Saheed Ayanshola, Taofeeq Jimoh, Olorunfemi Shakiru, Segun Idowu, Abass Ahmed and Kazeem Ramoni.
The clash followed NURTW’s hike in ticket prices for Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) members, including commercial motorcycles.
Motorcyclists’ charges were said to have been raised from N400 to N1000 daily.
It was learnt that motorcyclists at Alimosho paid N50 for security and N200 for ticket daily until the rates were raised. They are now to pay N500 to the national NURTW and N200 as “booking ticket” before they can operate.
But, the motorcyclists’ union directed its members not to pay the levies, drawing NURTW’s anger.
NURTW denied that the hike was over N1,000, insisting that the daily fares for motorcyclists at Alimosho is N600.
According to the union’s Secretary, Tijani Pekis, “booking ticket” was introduced to curb illegal taxation of motorcyclists.
He said: “We introduced booking tickets of N200 per day. With this ticket, an Okada rider can ply from Igando to Egbeda and Ikotun, but cannot go to places like Surulere because of the restriction.
“At Igando, they protested and we reduced the amount to N100 per day, and then, the N500 daily paid to national, totalling N600. Still they refused to pay. That was what caused the fight, but it’s being resolved because we are members of the same family.”
The Nation gathered that the intervention of riot policemen from Igando Division and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) saved the day.
Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni and RRS Commander Tunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), were at the scene to appeal to the parties.
Police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, a Superintendent (SP), said Owoseni directed the arrest of those who participated in the fracas.