Maritime Workers Union operates 20 illegal checkpoints on ports access roads

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Maritime Workers Union operates 20 illegal checkpoints on ports access roads

Extorts money from truckers – Says COMTUA 

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju

Truckers operating in Lagos have lamented how members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), allegedly operate 20 illegal checkpoints within the ports access roads and extort money from their members on daily basis.

The truckers, under the auspices of Council of Maritime Truck Unions and Associations (COMTUA), disclosed this in a statement issued by the National President, Prince Adeyinka Aroyewun, on Monday.

Truckers, who lamented the level of extortion perpetuated by MWUN members, alleged that they carry out this illegal act under the watch of their President-General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju.

The truckers, who cried out for help, said the extortion by Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria is taking it toll on their business.

The press statement further revealed the agony faced by truckers in the hands of government-backed touts, positioning themselves along ports access roads and major highways in Lagos.

The statement by COMTUA reads;
“It is with deep frustration that we write to highlight and bring to your notice, the excruciating torture, daily extortion and destruction of trucks our members face in the hands of touts, who position along ports access roads and major highways in Lagos.

“To say the least, it is sad to note that this brazen illegality continues in broad day light without any modicum of check.

“Letters of complaint and consultation to Park and Garages Committee, Park Administration Committee and Maritime Workers’ Union ( MWUN) on the activities of their members all fell on deaf ears, as none has yielded results.

“Instead of applying civility, they resort to most provocative affront, as these groups, in connivance with some government agencies, increase dues and extortion points.

“To be specific, MWUN operates 20 checkpoints from Coconut to Tin-Can Port Second gate where N2,000 is forcefully collected per point from our members. This is under the watch of the MWUN President-General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, whose main coordinator is Taofeek Shorinola (also known and called Sheu Tao). They injure and sometimes kill our members for non-compliance to the extortion.

“Parks and Garages have Abayomi Abeyi Ajele (also known and called Ikomodina), Michael Adewale (also known and called Hot Water) and one Raji (also known and called Student Mount) as coordinators and they control 30 extortion points between Mile 2 and Sunrise where between N2,000 and N6,000 are forcefully collected per point.

“Park Administrator has Chiboy and Adeleke as coordinators, and they collect money forcefully from truckers around Kirikiri, FATGBEMS, Badagry Express Road and inside Amuwo Odofin”.

When contacted to hear their own side of the story, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of MWUN, Comrade Erazua Oniha, denied the allegations, saying it was an attempt by COMTUA to tarnish their image since they broke out from the group.

His words; “COMTUA is a brainchild of all maritime unions, a child of necessity, which was to mitigate the problems bedeviling the unions and their members but unfortunately they went against the tenets, which was why the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria and some other unions pulled out of COMTUA.”

On 20 illegal checkpoints, Comrade Oniha said, the allegation did not hold water.

His words :  “COMTUA has been trying to tarnish our image since we pulled out of the Union. They wrote us to say that our haulage branch is mounting illegal road blocks.

“We discovered that this was completely false. Yes, our constitution permits the haulage branch to ticket trucks within zones inside the ports but anything outside the ports is not from our members, so it’s false,” he said.

He also dismissed the allegation of treating their letters with disdain, saying, “they wrote us and copied the Commissioner of Police Maritime, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and we responded appropriately to all that”.

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