By Adisa Awoyale
Unless the Lagos State government makes a drastic move to maintain peace in Lagos, the continuing fracas between loyalists of Mr. Musiliu Akinsanya popularly called MC Oluomo and the members of Tricycles Owners and Operators Association of Nigerians may morph into a major crisis that can disturb law and order in Lagos State.
Currently, there’s a fracas going on in Meiran, Ekoro, Abule Egba and Kola , as loyalists of Mr.Akinsanya are allegedly attacking tricycle operators.
In the wee hours of yesterday, members loyal to Akinsanya were said to have successfully launched a takeover bid of the following parks; Ayobo, Maigida, Ishefun, Amule, Oluwaga, IPAJA, Ikola, baruwa, Gate and Egbeda allegedly with the help of the divisional police officer of Ayobo Divisional Police Station.
According to investigations, the divisional police officer called in men of Rapid Response Squad without recourse to the area commander, informing officers of RRS that tricycles operators were disturbing the peace of the area when nothing of sort was taking place.
According to report, during this time, loyalists of Mr.Akinsanya had already taken position, and when the RRS men came they started picking tricycles operators paving way for the takeover of the parks without resistance.
The action of the DPO is deplorable, and the police authorities should look into it to prevent future occurrence.
The most important thing is peace, Lagos can not afford the breakdown of law and order.
We as citizens can not allow the lack of amity between the two transport unions to plunge the state into chaos. It was Ayobo and its environs yesterday today it may be the turn of other parts of the state.
No one is above the law, and Lagos State should not keep quiet in this regard but acts fast.
The festering crisis in the road transport unionism is uncalled for, and it is the responsibility of the state to call all the parties- Mr.Akinsanya and Alhaji Abiola Istijabah, chairman of the Tricycles Owners and Operators Association of Nigerians , Lagos State chapter to a roundtable talks for amicable settlement.
Forceful takeovers of parks is not the way to go, if anything, it will further aggravate the crisis and cause tensions and apprehension that can affect businesses and the activities of law-abiding citizens of the state.
Lagos State government should act as an impartial arbiter to resolve the crisis, and the police authorities should warn their officers not to take sides, but to maintain law and order, no matter whose ox is gored . When law enforcement is viewed as taking sides, it will further fuel unnecessary crisis, complicating unresolved matters at hand .
There is no way the state seen as model of economic development and social progress can continue to play that role if it doesn’t insist on amicable settlement of the feuding parties in the road transport union.
Fracas over parks is a tinder box in Lagos, and it can quickly spread out of control.
Governor Babajide Sanwoolu has been doing well ever since he came to power in 2019, and nothing should be allowed to derail the train of progress of Lagos he has set in motion.
The resolution of the crisis should also entail a rapprochement with the national headquarters of the National Union of Road Transport Workers which had already expelled Mr Akinsanya.
Akinsanya seen as a model to some on account of sartorial elegance should continue to inspire youth in that regard, and as a leader of sort, his deposition should be how to deepen tranquility in the state, create more opportunities for members of the union to be economically fulfilled.
Same goes to Alhaji Abiola Istijabah, who according to report is a gentleman,who has also been inspiring in his comportment, and has also empowered thousands members.
The duo are inspiring and should embrace peace in the state.