The fragile peace that reigned between rival groups in the National Union of Road Transport Workers Union, NURTW, in Oyo State for the past three years was ruptured weekend as six persons were injured during alleged attack on a former Chairman of the union, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, aka Tokyo.
A source said about 20 suspected thugs arrived the scene brandishing several dangerous weapons and allegedly attacked Tokyo’s supporters who were outside.
The fracas, which threw the whole Agbeni area of Ibadan, into frenzy was said to have occurred between supporters of Tokyo and the incumbent Chairman of the union, Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde aka Fele.
Expectedly, both sides were accusing each other of having triggered the chaos. While Tokyo alleged it was Fele’s that attacked him, the latter said his boys who Tokyo mentioned were at a programme at the 2nd Ramadan lecture of Alhaji Arisekola-Alao which held at the NTA, Ibadan.
Fele said, “We had met Alhaji Tokyo on several occasions and we never attacked him. We are not violent union again. We will continue to maintain the peace in the state.”
Tokyo was at the residence of Sheikh Haruna Suara, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland on an invitation when the incident happened.
Tokyo said, “I was at the Chief Imam of Ibadan’s residence to honour his invitation with some of my supporters when they attempted to kill me. My supporters were attacked while I was being attended to by the Imam in his house at Agbeni area of Ibadan”.
He added that if it were not for his supporters who were outside, he would have been killed.
Among those injured were Bashiru Saheed, Agboola Rasak, Liadi Akande, Rilwan Akinsola and Alani Adaramola.
But Fele argued that his boys could not have attacked Tokyo as he claimed.
“We appeal to the state government to call him to order so as not to plunge the union into another avoidable blood letting of the past.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officers, SP Olabisi Okuwobi Ilobanafor said suspected thugs attacked supporters of Akinsola popularly known as Tokyo.
She said, “The command dispatched combined police teams and Armed Personel Carrier to the scene to quell the violence and rescue Akinsola.
“We are yet to make arrests because the place was very rowdy and we have to stop that first and later make arrests based on identification by the witness.