By Uchediunor Augusta
Lagos – The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Lagos State Chapter, on Friday said that members of the union would not be used as political thugs in the 2019 general elections.
Alhaji Mohammed Musa, the Chairman of RTEAN gave the assurance while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the warning by the Lagos State Police Commissioner, CP Imohimi Edgal, to transport unions.
NAN reports that Edgal, on Wednesday, warned members of the transport union that the police was ready to battle any group that was out to disrupt the electioneering processes.
Edgal gave the warning following allegations that some politicians were arming union members to cause chaos should their candidates not emerge victorious in next year’s election.
The commissioner spoke at a meeting with chairmen of 64 political parties and their candidates as well as other security agencies held at the Police Officers’ Mess Ikeja.
Musa told NAN that the union had sensitised its members and warned them to stay away from electotal violence.
“We have warned our members to steer clear of electoral violence and thuggery before, during and after the 2019 general elections.
“We have stressed the need for each member of the transport union to possess Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to enable them install representatives they want in government.
“We have warned that the union will disown any member caught in violence, so I believe that my union members will not engage in electoral violence,’’ he said.
The chairman warned politicians to also desist from luring and inducing transport union members to perpetrate violence.
According to him, politicians should rely on the use of voter cards rather than violence to achieve their goal.
“As their leader, I have my voter card. I have advised every one of my members to go and get their PVCs.
“ Our members should not be used by politicians and they have been warned never to be involved in such dealing with any politician.
“So, police should count our members out of those who will cause trouble during elections; we have done enough sensitisation.
`What I told all my members is that all they need to do is to get their PVCs which we have made compulsory for all,’’ the RTEAN boss said.
He said that the police should focus more on the politicians who might be buying arms to win power.
According to him, the association will deny and expel any member involved in violence.
Recall that the state chapter of the union in October organised an awareness campaign tagged: “Operation Show Your Permanent Voter Cards’’ for its members.