NURTW Members Attack Drivers over Hike in Ticket Fees in Delta

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Suspected members of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Udu, near Warri, attacked several mini bus drivers yesterday over for resisting the payment of the newly increased daily ticket fees of N600 at Ugbolokposo junction in Effurun, Uvwie local government area of Delta State.

Several mini buses were destroyed with many drivers sustaining injuries as their attackers descended on them with dangerous weapons, including cutlasses, iron bars and bottles.

Narrating their ordeals, some of the injured drivers said the suspected members of NURTW unleashed mayhem on them over increase in the price of ticket.

A driver identified as Alfred Wilson, who spoke journalists on his hospital bed at Agbarho Central Hospital where he’s undergoing treatment, said he narrowly escaped death by the whiskers.

Wilson said: “We use to pay N400 daily but it was recently increased without any notice to N500, just today (yesterday) they increased it to N600 for mini bus.

“We felt aggrieved and decided to get a lawyer to challenge the undue hardship placed on us in court. We were mobilising our drivers so we can meet and plan when they came to attack us.

“The Vice Chairman of NURTW, Mr. Joseph, led the attack. Immediately they got to Ugbolokposo junction where we parked, they started injuring anyone at sight; we were running when they hit me with a plank and stabbed my face with a bottle.

“They tried bundling me to Udu after attacking me and I was bleeding, it took the efforts of my colleagues who came to my rescue to save me. My vehicle was damaged too.”

Corroborating the attack, another Injured Driver, Mr. Ojike, said: “I was also attacked and assaulted; they were over 10 in numbers with weapons.”

Also Ikuku Godwin, another assaulted driver who confirmed the attack, said: “We were surprised when they came to attack us because we were only planning to meet and it was not even in Udu area.

“Their intent was to injure us and destroy our vehicles for daring to plan to meet. We need government to intervene in this issue because it is causing so much hardship on us.”

The matter was reported at Ebrumede Police Station but effort to get the Divisional Police Officer, Iwok Ebrum, proved abortive as at the time of filing this report.

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