The group described the action of the governor as unconstitutional.
The National Leadership of the Road Transport Employers' Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has called on the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to rescind his decision on the suspension of the operations of the association in the state.
The governor had last week suspended the entire operation of RTEAN and appointed a 35-member caretaker committee to run the affairs of the branch following a misunderstanding between two members of the two chapels.
In a statement issued by the Deputy National President Administration, Abubakar Muhammad, on Monday in Abuja, the group described the action of the governor as unconstitutional.
The statement added that the constitution of the association had been tested before the National Industrial Court and made elaborate provision for chairmen of branches of the association to contest elections in the National body either as president or any other office.
Abubakar noted that the association is a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act. Cap T 14 Laws of the Federation 2004, a Federal Enactment and that the association also was recognised and approved by the Registrar of Trade Unions under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
According the statement, “The operation of Trade Unions is entirely under the Trade Unions Act and the approved constitutions of the Trade Unions. None of the provisions of the Trade Unions Act confers or gives any power to any state Governor to suspend the activities of any Trade Union nor empowers the Governor of Lagos state or any other state to appoint a caretaker committee for a Trade Union as a branch of it.
"The action of the Governor is therefore ultra vires and unconstitutional. We wish to further inform the members of the press that the constitution of RTEAN, which has been tested before the National Industrial Court, has made elaborate provision for chairmen of branches of the Association to contest elections in the National body either as president or any other office and if elected, could also hold the two positions without hindrance by any law as provision of the constitution of association.
"Therefore, the argument that the National president of RTEAN cannot hold the position of Lagos State branch chairman is without any foundation, rather it is provided for in the RTEAN constitution.
"Since the entire fracas was baited on the issue covered by the RTEAN constitution on expects that aggrieved members should have been advised by the Governor to proceed to court to challenge the constitutional provision and not for the governor to delve into resolving constitutional issues embedded in the RTEAN constitution.
"It is unfortunate that the very members who engineered and carried out the fracas are part of the people the Governor appointed as members of the caretaker committee. It shows clearly that the Governor took side with those contesting the issue of the president of RTEAN doubling as the chairman of Lagos branch of RTEAN.
“Furthermore, members of press, Lagos state have over three hundred and twenty (320) chapels. The fracas is alleged to have taken place in two of those chapels. The responsibility of the state government is the maintaining of the law and order, and these can be done by directing the police to arrest the miscreant that were involved in the fracas in the two chapels of the union.”
The statement therefore called on the governor to rescind his decision to suspend the activities of the association and allow the National body of the RTEAN to look into the matter in line with its constitution.