The Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Association (COMTUA) has tasked the Lagos State Government on what it called “willful vandalisation” of its members’ trucks by hoodlums on Lagos roads.
The association expressed regret that miscreants popularly called “agebero” have continued to be a thorn in the flesh of its members over the years in spite of appeals for redress from the state government.
It also stated that the level damage on the COMTUA members trucks has been tremendous.
Continuing, it said: ”As we speak, they still vandalized trucks today. They will still vandalize it tomorrow because the extortion points and points of vandalisation have not been removed by the government. We have seen the Lagos State Government and the NPA were removing shanties and they claimed they were removing hoodlums and extortion points on the roads. They concluded this on Sunday and everything has returned this morning. We cannot estimate what we have lost to vandalism.”
The President of COMTUA, Mr. Adeyinka Aroyewun disclosed this during a virtual interactive session with members of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN).
Aroyewun disclosed that the association had made several appeals to the Lagos State Government, Nigeria Police Force as well as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) over the menace to no avail.
He expressed dismay that the menace of the miscreants has impacted negatively on the business of truck owners in the country, especially in Lagos State.
“We have been crying about this and I have made a lot of submissions on this. We have written over 50 letters appealing to the government to weed the vandals off the road”, he said.
According to him, while some members of the association were insured, others are not. We are working on this, educating our members on the importance of insurance. We have also written to Nigerian Insurance Association of Nigeria to partner with them to be able to be part of enforcement team and their pubic enlightenment team.
He claimed that COMUTUA has lost over 10 members who were killed this year just as over 20 members have been seriously injured by the hoodlums.
“We are still pleading with the government to ensure that we get justice,” he said
According to Aroyewun, in the amalgamated unions which formed COMUTUA , there are 11 unions and associations as at it stands. “It used to be 7 and 4 have voluntarily tendered their resignation. We have 7 other associations that have joined COMUTUA, our national Congress as we do it every year, we take in November.
He stated that congestion is still hampering the association’s activities.
He also stated that the association was reviewing its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from time to time.
“It is not about the dissolution of COMUTUA. New members are coming in. While some members feel there is no need to remain in the collaboration. Some still see reason to remain in the collaboration. To remain in this, we are forming new alliances with the Lagos State Government. COMUTUA is what it was and we are doing everything possible to improve the lives of our people,” Aroyewun said.
He revealed that the membership of COMTUA is guided by its MoU as any member that breaches the regulation is always sanctioned.
“In 2020, COMTUA expelled the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTNW) for extortion. Before the expulsion, several letters were written to warn them, but they believe they are above the law. Therefore, COMTUA did not hesitate to expel them from the association. Others are sanctioned for not obeying traffic rules and regulations”, he said.