By Uchediunor Augusta
Lagos, 25, 2019 The National Executive Council of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Musa as the National President of the association.
The NEC, led by Musa, who is also the Lagos State Chairman of RTEAN, told newsmen at the end of its meeting in Lagos that it was not aware of any court injunction restraining its activities.
On Sept. 18, the NEC at an emergency meeting in Lagos expelled the National President of the association, Mr Osakpanwan Eriyo, for alleged fraudulent activities.
The development worsened the leadership crisis rocking the association with Musa and Eriyo factions claiming the top post in the association.
Eriyo had in a statement on Sept. 15, announced the dissolution of the executive committee of the Lagos State chapter, citing the expiration of their tenure on Sept. 13 as reason.
He announced the inauguration of a caretaker committee, headed by Alhaji Suleiman Onigbanjo, to manage the affairs of the branch, pending the emergence of a new executive committee.
The executive committee members, however, at a news conference on Sept. 16 in Lagos, described the dissolution as illegal, null and void, saying that their tenure would elapse on Oct. 31.
They said that a resolution for the continuity of their executive committee had been passed at the chapel, zonal and state executive levels, adding that it had since been forwarded to the national body.
Approaching the National Industrial Court, presided over by Justice Sanusi Kado in Abuja, Eriyo obtained an order which restrained Musa and six others from parading themselves as NEC members of RTEAN, pending hearing and determination of the motion already before the court.
But Musa at the NEC meeting held in Lagos on Wednesday, attended by 58 state and national officers of the association, said that he had not received any court order restraining its leadership.
“We are not aware of the court injunction granted the former president of the union by any court. I have not been served any court order,” Musa told reporters.
The RTEAN chief, who commended the NEC for his appointment and confirmation, said that he would not let the NEC and the association down.
According to him, the Constitution of RTEAN will be upheld strictly in all his decisions and policies to take the association to greater heights.
“I thank NEC for my appointment as acting national president and for confirming me today as the national president.
“By virtue of the Constitution of RTEAN, in the absence of national president, it is the deputy national president that should be sworn in as the national president.
“I am using this medium to invite others. We are the majority and according to the RTEAN Constitution, when the majority sits and takes decision on any matter, that is what stands. It is legal.
“State and national officers from all geo-political zones are here. Some people said it was only state and national officers from the northern states that made me president but we thank God that people from the South-West, South-East and South-South are here.
“We need peace and we love peace. Our association is not for touting. We are owners. We are not touts. Other members will be reached by God’s Grace.
“My advice to all members is to maintain peace and unity. Don’t take laws into your hands but follow due process.
“If I commit any offence, you can remove me according to this constitution. This office is not permanent office for anyone.”
Musa argued that the RTEAN Constitution permitted the NEC to hold its meetings and national delegate conference in any state of the federation.
reports that state chairmen and national officers from Kano, Kastina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger, Adamawa, Abia, Yobe, Kogi, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ogun, Gombe, Imo, Plateau, FCT, Ebonyi, Borno, Lagos and other states were in attendance at the meeting.
Reacting to the latest development, Mr Chidoziri Oluigbo, the Imo State Chairman of RTEAN, told reporters that the expelled president misused the opportunity he had, addition that the new leadership of Musa was long overdue.
“There were lots of abuses of offices. The whole chairmen of RTEAN at various state were generally tired.”
Also, Mr Sunday Umahi, the RTEAN Chairman in Ebonyi said: “I am so happy with this new direction. NEC is happy with Musa to continue.”
Prince Raphael Onyiuke, the RTEAN Chairman in the FCT, said that the expelled Eriyo, got to the office by default, saying: “we all agree with the new leadership and we will all support him”.
According to Mr Tiwalade Akingbade, the RTEAN Secretary in Ogun, the association has been staggering without progress in the past 13 or 14 months that Eriyo took over.
The RTEAN Chairman in Abia, Chief James Egwuonwu, said also that NEC was in support of Musa as the new leader of the association.
Edited by Silas Nwoha