One person was reportedly shot yesterday when members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) yesterday rose against Governor Ayodele Fayose.
They barricaded major roads and road junctions where they made bonfires, brandished machetes, bottles, axes, charms and other assorted dangerous objects. The protesters scared residents and forced businesses to close.
As at 10 in the morning, the streets were already deserted. As protesters moved through Okeyinmi, Ijigbo, Ajilosun areas, chanting songs to condemn what they described as the governor’s high handedness, gunshots were heard and fear-gripped loiters, business owners and buyers rushed through streets into the nooks to hide.
Bellows of fire rose high in the sky at major junctions. One person, whose identity could not be ascertained as at press time, was shot dead.
Several others were said to have sustained injuries in the uprising which left at least 15 vehicles, including a Toyota Avensis marked Ondo AKR 657 FW belonging to Mrs. Florence Olukolade, vandalised. It took about 100 policemen drafted to the scene well over three hours to restore peace.
The protest, which started on Monday at the Ajilosun area, it was learnt, was caused by alleged detention of a member of the unions, Ahmed Kolo, said to be rude to the governor.
The driver, who reportedly drove recklessly on September 24 when Fayose was heading towards Ajilosun area of Ado-Ekiti, was immediately arraigned at the Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court for traffic offence.
The arraignment and subsequent detention of their member, the protesters maintained, was uncalled for, as the drivers’ unions had immediately sued for the governor’s clemency.
One of the drivers, who craved anonymity, said: “One of us was shot at Ajilosun very close to Fayose Market. There is no way we won’t revenge the killing. We are even going to burn down police station if that boy dies.” He declined to disclose the hospital where the victim was receiving medical treatment.
The drivers, who damaged vehicles parked on the way, shot into the air and hurled stones at the anti-riot policemen deployed in the area to quell the crisis.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Modupe Alade, justifying the driver’s arraignment, noted the man was also rude to the governor and refused to apologise. “This driver drove recklessly against the convoy and he was arrested.
Rather than apologise, he was rude to the governor. The governor asked them to come and apologise, but they refused. “The governor as a no nonsense person won’t tolerate any threat from anybody.
And not until he apologises, he won’t be released,” Alade said. But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Alberto Adeyemi, said nobody was shot. He said: “Let me make it clear, nobody was shot by our men and we have not even arrested anybody.
We are dialoguing with the leadership of the drivers’ unions and we are sure that the matter will be resolved soon.”