Leadership of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, Enugu State branch has described as baseless and unfounded comments credited to the leadership of National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Enugu in which it accused RTEAN of causing trouble and instigating crisis in motor-parks in the state.
In a release made available to newsmen in Enugu, Wednesday, and signed by its public relations officer, Comr. Ugwu Chinweokwu, disclosed that RTEAN was a registered trade union organization and gazetted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, explaining that the body is a peace loving union that is interested in sanitizing the transport industry in the country by removing touting in motor-parks and extortion of illegal levies from its employees.
According to him, “Before RTEAN commenced operations in Enugu state our employees (drivers) have been paying N800.00 and above on daily bases to NURTW which we (RTEAN) have reduced to N100.00 daily including tipper and truck drivers.”
Ugwu, who was reacting to reports aired by Federal Radio Cooperation Nigeria, Enugu zonal station, Tuesday, also said the allegations were not only baseless and fallacious but smacked of “paranoia and hysteria” on the part of those behind them.
He noted that, contrary to the claims of the Union, RTEAN had ironically, for the past few months, been at the receiving end of a sponsored smear attack by our employees in Abakpa, Emene, New Market and Timber, which can attest to by several reports to the security agencies in the state.
He said, “The claims of NURTW against RTEAN can only be described as mystifying and bemusing. The allegations are not only baseless and completely fallacious but the tone in which they were made, smacks of desperation, paranoia and hysteria on the part of those behind them.
“RTEAN has no time to wage any war against her employees. It is a road transport employers association and certainly cannot abandon her spirited and universally acclaimed drive to bring about the total transformation of road transport sector.
“When we came to Enugu state, the transport workers told our Union that they owned parks and roads in the state and that we had no jurisdiction to operate in the state. They constantly harassed our drivers, in several occasions they discharged our buses of its passengers. Their harassment has led us to commissioner of police and SSS who warned them to stay clear and mind their own business.
“It is on record that when RTEAN came to Enugu state, transport drivers in Enugu are paying over N800.00 daily to NURTW which are being collected illegally but since RTEAN came we have reduced it to N100.00 daily. How on earth can sensible human beings accuse RTEAN of extorting money, harassing drivers and arresting members of NURTW; for what?” he queried.