Home Maritime PEACE ACCORD: Truck Owners , MWUN Pledge To Work In Harmony, Kick...

PEACE ACCORD: Truck Owners , MWUN Pledge To Work In Harmony, Kick Against Violence

By Roland Ekama 

Maritime stakeholders in haulage operations on Tuesday , February 13 2024, have agreed to work in peace and harmony in furtherance of protecting port operations against any form of violence.

The group comprising Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), and Nexus Association of Truck Operators (NAMTOP), pledged to embrace collaboration among the haulage operators in a bid to discourage any form of violence.

They reiterated their commitment to promote lasting peace and promote oneness as critical stakeholders of the maritime industry.

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They also promised to kick against any form of in-fighting among truckers, violence, hooliganism, touting , extortion, etc.

The meeting was witnessed by representatives of the Commissioner of Police, Western Port Police Command, Port Managers,Tin Can Island Port and Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) respectively.

Recall that suspected thugs last week, invaded Tin Can Island Port and unleashed mayhem on members of the MWUN and truckers.

 

Speaking at the meeting which had in attendance critical stakeholders in maritime haulage business, President General of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju who expressed displeasure over the incessant attacks on port users and operators by hoodlums , maintained that the gathering is centered to embrace peace.

According to him, the union is ready to work with the Lagos State Truck and Cargo Operators Committee (LASTCOC) but that due process must be followed.

Adeyanju who doubles as the Deputy President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) while speaking at the peace accord meeting of truck associations at the union secretariat on Tuesday, recalled how similar incident led to the death of five members of MWUN about two years ago.

“We are not against working with LASTCOC but due process should be followed.

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“We should encourage those that have invested into trucking business and should be allowed them to enjoy their investment.

“Our annoyance is the incessant attacks on the people. About two years ago, we lost about 5 of our members as a result of bringing external forces.

“The same people that came last time are the same people that came this time around.

Speaking further, he maintained that only three trucking associations are recognized and introduced to the stakeholders as parts of the collaborations working together for the welfare of the drivers as well as for sanity in the port corridor.

 

“We can start tomorrow but where is the sincerity of purpose? We should be very careful with Lagos State. We are not saying they don’t have right to work in the port but we must be careful.

“MWUN will be properly factored into the collaboration. I don’t want a situation where when I leave tomorrow, they will say I dragged them into something they don’t want.

“The people given positions, did you know them before. In giving appointments, do you know the people you are appointing

“What happened at Tincan Island was an eyesore. They are alleging wrong people against legitimate workers. What if stray bullet hit an innocent person?

“Port is not a garage, foreign bodies should not be deployed to come and take up garages. The external forces should be withdrawn and if that is done, peace will reign.

“MWUN will continue to support the collaboration 100 percent. I thank the CP and I want to tell you that what you are witnessing today is called peace accord.

“I think the Nigerian Ports Authority should support this because of the sanity is has brought to the port access road and the port should not be used as an extortion point for hoodlums.”

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Speaking earlier, Mooruf Rilwan, the Board of Trustees (BOT), Chairman of NAMTOP, who brokered the peace accord, called for peace among the warring members, promising that there would be relatively harmony after the peace accord

 

Rilwan, affirmed that “We held a meeting in Friday. It was adjourned for today. The members of the unions know that there is need for us to be united. It better to jaw jaw rather than to war war

“After today, we will see progress and things happening. We have spoken to ourselves and consulted our elders.

“We have suspended one of our own who we discovered was part of what happened two weeks ago.”

In his goodwill message, Chief Remi Ogungbemi called for peace among the operators saying no amount of money could be too much to spend on achieving peace.

He submitted that the group should pursue permanent peace instead of lasting peace that will fizzle out after sometimes.

“Every living organism cherishes peace. No amount of money should be seen as too much to spend to achieve peace. We should not just talk peace but walk peace.

“Let’s ensure that we work towards peace. There’s lasting peace and permanent peace. There are issues that we will have to address but it may not be here but we will have it at the instance of the PG.

“Let us meet to iron out salient issues especially of court injunctions to achieve permanent peace.”

Speaking also , Stephan Okafor , General Manager , Operations, NARTO, expressed joy over restoration of peace in the group even as he said that coming together of the groups will put an end to illegal extortion by hoodlums.

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“I want to say that peace has been restored and the collaboration between NAMTOP and MWUN has come to stay

 

“We have suffered in the hands of urchins and our coming together will put an end to what has been bedeviling the sector.

“Today, the crises are over and we are thinking towards the same direction.”

Alhaji Ishola Salami, NAMTOP also called for peace saying, “The most important thing is peace. Let us see collaboration as tool that unites us.”

Alhaji Lukman Shittu, who is the chairman of both LASTCOC and NAMTOP, exuded confidence that the coming together of NAMTOP, NARTO and MWUN, would help resolve the differences.

He said, “We need to be united, we are not supposed to fight ourselves because both MWUN and truckers are one

“I believe that Lagos State and Maritime will resolve differences and work as a team.”

Otunba Thompson Olaleye, truck owner and member of NAMTOP while speaking, said that NAMTOP consisted of about nine trucking associations duly registered.

“We are very close to the promise land and we are going to get there.

“NAMTOP constitutes about 9 truck associations. It is duly registered. It is not the one that some people use to blackmail others..

“Without the bond between MWUN and truck owners, we cannot head anywhere.”

Meanwhile, the Representative of the Commissioner of Police, Western Port Police Command, CP Olanrewaju Ishola, DSP Ojo Alex promised to feed the CP back on discussions at the meeting for further action.