The National President of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Comrade Eriyo Osakpamwan, has called on the members of the body in Lagos to remain calm as the crisis rocking the state chapter has been handed over to law enforcement agents
Osakpamwan, who made the call at a press briefing at the national secretariat of the association in Abuja this Wednesday, also shed light on the cause of the crisis, alleging that the immediate past chairman of the Lagos chapter, Alhaji Musa Mohammad, was trying force himself back into office after his tenure has expired and his executive council declared dissolved, adding that he (Osakpamwan) had refused to ratify an illegality.
Osakpamwan also described as illegal the announcement by a group of members of the association, including the embattled former chairman of the Lagos chapter, claiming that the national president and general secretary of the association had been expelled, noting that the group lacked the authority to make such decision or pronouncement.
Explaining the sequences of the events that led to the faceoff, Osakpamwan explained that Mohammed’s executive council’s tenure, which was inaugurated in June 2014, had exhausted its five year tenure, adding that the Mohammed-led executive council was dissolved in Abuja at a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja recently, with Mohammed present at the meeting.
“The Lagos executive council was dissolved because their tenure has expired. Outside that, there are series of petitions from members of the association in Lagos, some of them alleging that the former state chairman, Alhaji Musa Mohammad, forged their signatures as well as trying to force them to support him for his second tenure. They wrote petitions on those allegations to this office as well as to the Ministry of Transportation.
“The former Lagos state chairman also invited me to Lagos to swear him in, based on the signatures he claimed his members had signed for his continuity. My own was to go ascertain if what he claimed was true; that the members are indeed the real owners of those signatures. I went to Lagos and found out there were serious issues on ground and I told him that there was no way I would swear him in because those he claimed to have given their signatures are the same people who said they are not in his support.
“I called a NEC meeting, to which I invited everybody, to the Abuja. He, as well as his executive members, were here. At the NEC meeting, we decided to dissolve the Lagos State chapter of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, to which Alhaji Musa was chairman, and set up a 23-man committee to run the Lagos affairs.
“Surprisingly, I got a call from Lagos yesterday that, the man invaded the Lagos office with thugs and policemen and we have since sent a petition to the Inspector General of Police. The matter has been passed on to the State Commissioner of Police for investigation. The true position is that the Lagos chapter executive council has been dissolved and it remains dissolved”, he explained.5