LASU crisis: Students, shuttle operators, NURTW clash over levies

Lagos—Activities on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway were yesterday halted for hours after students of the Lagos State University, LASU and the shuttle operators clashed with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, at the Iyana-Iba motor park over increase in loading levies. LASU It was learned that the ever busy road was blocked while the clash lasted. Vanguard gathered that the clash started at about 11 am after the members of the Union informed the shuttle operators that the loading levies had been increased from N200 to N1, 000 and that the increment took immediate effect. Sources said the shuttle operators plying LASU-Isheri and Lagos-Badagry expressway used to pay their weekly levies to the Students Union Government, SUG, on Tuesdays and another N200 to the NURTW and RTEAN for every trip. According to reports, the transport unions kept the SUG in the dark over the planned increment. The SUG normally would have directed the shuttle operators to comply with the development. Worried by the increment, it was learned that the operators informed the students who visited the motor park to plead with the unions to shelve the planned increment. But on arrival at the park, one of the students identified simply as Shola said the union members attacked the students with machete and broken bottles. He said that this infuriated the students who directed the shuttle operators not to pay the new levy. In retaliation, the Unions damaged over eight shuttle buses that joined the SUG to kick against the planned increment. It was learned that the students blocked the road in a bid to recover their buses from the union and press home their demands. Ambode,VC, SUG president wade in Another student, who pleaded anonimity narrated that normalcy returned after the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun and officers from the Ojo Police Station and the SUG President, Adeyemi Onikoro waded into the crisis. Sources close to the office of the governor, said that a top official from the governor’s office called the leadership of the transport unions, directing that the issue be resolved immediately. Few minutes after normalcy returned, a meeting was held at the office of the Divisional Police Officer of the Ojo division where all the parties were asked to maintain status quo until Thursday when they would be having another meeting to resolve the issue. The reason for scheduling the meeting for Thursday, a SUG official told Vanguard was because the Student union would be conducting their election.




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