About 11 members, loyal to zonal Chairman of the Road Transport Employers Association (RETAN) in Ekiti State, South West, Fatimehin Isaac and a state chairmanship aspirant, Adebayo Aderiye, yesterday sustained serious machete cuts on their heads and parts of their body during a clash among the RETAN members.
Fatimehin, who spoke to newsmen inside the Ayinyin Shopping Complex in Ado Ekiti, on the attack on the members, accused another state chairmanship aspirant, Rotimi Joseph Olanbiwonninu, for the attack.
His words: “I am the South West zonal chairman and a member of RETAN. We have been having attacks on our people since the day before yesterday.
These attacks are led by Olanbiwonninu, popular as Mentilo, who has been bringing thugs armed with guns and cutlasses and other dangerous weapons to attack our people. As I speak with you, 11 of our people are in the hospital now.
“Mentolo is not happy that the national body, headed by Musa Sheu Iswele, is considering Aderiye Adebayo, alias Ojuigo as the acting chairman in Ekiti. This is why he is bringing thugs to attack our people.
“The truth is that Olanbiwonninu had chaired the state RETAN for over nine and half years now and this was why the national body is considering Ojuigo.
“On Saturday, when I was called on this matter by Sunday Adeola, a leader in our union who is supporting Mentilo, I explained to him that I had explained to all parties that those who have chaired the state chapter of our union before should retire like me and allow others who haven’t been there to have their turn.
“We reported the case at Oke Ila police station but we were referred to the state command where our men were again referred to the Oke Isa police station.
“The police in Ekiti have not taken concrete step in this matter because Mentilo has been going about saying the newly elected governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi is behind him and that he can kill anybody and nothing will happen.
But we know that he is telling lies with such boasting as we know Fayemi cannot support his violent ways.
“We plead with the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest Mentilo and his gang so that there can be peace in the state,” he said.
Daily Sun also spoke with RETAN National President, Musa Shehu Iswele, on phone, he said: “Mentilo is not our member.
He has just been released from the prison; he is no more a card-carrying member of the union because the constitution says once you are away for more than three months from the union, you lose your membership. Mentilo has been away from us for more than a year now,” Iswele said.
When Daily Sun contacted Mentilo on phone to react to the allegations against him by Fatimehin, he denied all the allegations, saying:
“The allegations are false. I don’t have hands in the crisis and I have been trying to intervene to bring amicable solution to the crisis.
“On the other insinuation that I am no longer a member, it a lie and they are jokers who don’t know what they are saying.
Throughout the time I was wrongly committed to prison, I was the South West zonal chairman of the union and one of the national vice presidents of the drivers’ Union until June this year when they dissolved the house, so they don’t know what they are saying,” he said.
When contacted on phone also, Police Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti State Command, Caleb Ikechukwu, said he has not been briefed on the development, he promised to investigate on the matter and reply shortly. Daily Sun