By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
There was pandemonium in Osogbo, capital of Osun state on Thursday, 20th August, 2015 when aggrieved members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) attacked officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) over the seizure of the former’s vehicle.
Officials of the FRSC had stationed themselves in front of their office located at Ogo-Oluwa area in Osogbo and were carrying out inspection of vehicles plying the Osogbo/Ife road before the clash occurred.
Two members of the NURTW were arrested by the Road Safety corps.
The officials had stopped a commercial driver of an 18 seater-bus and requested for his vehicle papers. Apparently not satisfied with the papers made available to them by the driver, the FRSC officials ordered him to drive his vehicle into their office premises while an official boarded the bus to ensure compliance.
It was gathered that the driver had disobeyed the orders of the officials and zoomed off. One of the officials narrowly escaped being crushed while the driver was trying to escape from the corps.
The FRSC officials hurriedly chased the bus with their patrol vehicle. The officials later caught up with the driver at the popular Ola-Iya junction after the corps that was with the driver persuaded him to stop.
This led to hot altercation between the two parties as some members of NRTW alighted from their vehicles in solidarity and attacked the FRSC personnels.
As the melee rages, some members of NURTW mobilized themselves and headed to FRSC station with clubs to demand for the seized bus.
The NURTW members were said to have vented their anger on the patrol vehicle of the FRSC damaging it in the process.
But for the prompt intervention of the police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) members, the violence would had escalated.
Speaking, an eye witness who preferred anonymity said, ”when the drivers attacked the station, it was shocking because they were holding sticks and other harmful objects. Even the police could not dispatch them until minutes later when Civil Defence men came around and joined them.”
The FRSC commandant in Osogbo, Mr. Mohammad Husanni while speaking said his official car was also damaged when the NURTW members attacked the station.
Husanni said; “I have reported the case at the Area Commander’s office and I also called the Civil Defence Commandant and the Director of the state Directorate of Security Service (DSS). I have to call the National President of NURTW before they (the drivers) could be dispatched.”
The FRSC boss said some of his officials were beaten by the drivers. “Some of my personnel were beaten up while one of them was hit with charm which rendered him unconscious but he was later revived,” he said.
He said two persons were arrested saying the reason for the attack was unknown to him. “We are yet to know why they attacked us because we maintain a cordial relationship with NURTW nationwide. Anyway, we arrested two persons out of the group that attacked us,” he added.