From Maduako Eleweke,
The battle between the Great Tipper Association of Nigeria and Anambra State Tipper Association (ASTA) and others to control the ‘welfare money’ of the associations has claimed two lives.
The groups have been at war over who collect welfare monies from members and the state government has given recognition to ASTA to collect the welfare money for all members of tippers operating in the state, but the Great Tipper Association objected, saying that they are not members of ASTA as such they cannot collect welfare money from their members.
Last week, there was a clash between the groups in Onitsha over the lingering issue of who collect the welfare money.
The clash occurred when ASTA went to collect the welfare money from other groups.
Meanwhile, there have been series of clashes among the groups but the last one resulted in the killing of two persons, Sunday Anaekwe and the other simply identified as Nwa mazi.
Confirming the incident to our reporter, the spoke person for Anambra state police command CSP Haruna Mohammed said the was fight among various tippers Associations at the dredging site, Onitsha which resulted into two persons being killed in the process.
He said there was a clash among some groups of people over sand mining in Onitsha in process three persons were wounded and they were rushed to hospital for treatment where two were confirmed dead by the medical doctor on duty on arrival, while the third person is still receiving treatment .
According to him, the police have stepped up investigations into the matter and after the culprits I would be charge to court.
Speaking on the matter, the chairman of ASTA, Prince Augustine Akaigwe said there is no problem in tipper associations in Anambra’ state only that Great Tipper Association and Anaimo refused to join the umbrella body of the union.
According to him, great tipper Association and sand miner entered into agreement to be collecting N500 from every tipper in the state and as a chairman of ASTA recognized by government, I said they cannot collect money from 21 unions and share between two unions.
“They were asked to stop the collection because they cannot collect money from tipper drivers and share with sand miners. The money is supposed to be for welfare of tipper drivers and not for sand miner. We went to court and got injunction stopping them but they did not obey the court order” he said.
He said on Wednesday last week ,though he was not at the scene, the great tipper association led by their chairman Ebuka Unekwe and the secretary Jerry Efejika attacked their members on a lawful duty and killed two.
According to him, they have reported the cases to state criminal investigation department SCID, Awka for appropriate action.