By Afolabi Oyekunle.
The continue restriction of the Lagos state government on the activities of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria is illegal and amount to the disrespect of the Industrial Court which ruled that it does not have the authority.
This violation of the court order made the Trade Union Of Nigeria, TUC organized its members and those of Road Transport Employers Association to stage a peaceful protest from Ikeja under bridge to the Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa to deliver a warning letter to the government.
The Trade Union Congress Members were led by its National President Comrade Festus Osifo.
According to the TUC boss, the RTEAN was proscribed sometime last year and later, the Lagos state government went ahead to seize all their equipment and also took over their offices, including vehicles, saying it is unacceptable.
Thee President of TUC, Comrade Festus Osifo during the solidarity protest with RTEAN, said the protest became necessary, as the state government failed to yield to court judgment as well as the request of the Union on the matter
The TUC President added that, “The actions of the government amount to criminality and stealing. We wrote to them that what they did is not good, but the government failed to yield to our request.”
“As at today, they don’t have a stay of execution from the court. We will make our voice heard,” Comrade Osifo said.
He explained further that “We know that trade unionism is not in the concurrent list and so a state government does not have the power to proscribe a trade union. This is absolutely the responsibility of the federal government.“
“We wrote a letter to the State Governor to open the office of RTEAN, which they forcefully took over and release their vehicles seized by government officials, but I can tell you that the government is already using the vehicles”.
Honourable Adedamole Kasunmu, Deputy Majority Leader who stood in for the Speaker, Honourable Mudasiru Obasa assured the protesters that their request will be quickly addressed by the House as he said “an injury to a person is an injury to all”
According to him the House believes in justice and rule of law and will not deny them of their rights.
Honourable Kasunmu however advised them to continue to demand for their rights peacefully.
It was gathered that the state government has filed an appeal against the judgment .
Some government officials had earlier noted that a protest, amid court proceedings amounts to breach of the rule of law, as both parties should maintain status quo, pending the determination of the application for stay of execution and appeal.