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Auxiliary Threatening To Chase Us Out Of Union Building, OYO NURTW Members Writes Seyi Makinde

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The leadership of the proscribed Nigeria Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State has asked the state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde to return the management and control of motor parks to the union.

It will be recalled that the state government, through the then Chief of Staff to the state governor, Chief Bisi Ilaka, had on May 31, 2019, announced the indefinite proscription of the NURTW.

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This was to be followed on February 17, 2020 with the state government inaugurating park managers across the 33 local government areas of the state with a mandate to take charge of the parks and collect revenue on behalf of the state government.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, on Monday, Chairman of the Oyo NURTW, Alhaji Olajide Ejiogbe said the union was compelled to appeal to the state governor because the PMS had for the past three years stifled all NURTW members out of the parks and recently sent emissaries warning them to leave the union’s building at Aduloju area of Ibadan, the state capital.

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He noted that upon inauguration of the park management system (PMS) led by Mr Mukaila Lamidi, over two years ago, all members of the NURTW were chased out while all their vehicles were also asked to be driven out never to return.

Ejiogbe said the NURTW members continue to be baffled that rather than its thinking that the PMS was simply set up to collect revenue at the parks, the PMS took over the duty of controlling motor parks, collecting revenue at the parks, appointing officers at the parks and running the union’s offices at the motor parks.

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Ejiogbe argued that the court told the union that it was suspended and not proscribed.

Noting that the NURTW is not unaware of plans of PMS to storm its Aduloju building, he said the union asked its lawyer to write the state governor, Director of State Services and state Commissioner of Police to prevent any form of crisis in the state.

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“On the day the PMS was inaugurated, Auxiliary chased out all our vehicles in motor parks. We wondered why PMS will be set up and they will go all out to chase away union members. It is three years and we cannot die in silence.

“The government said the PMS is just to collect revenue at the parks. The PMS has taken up the duty of the union and controlling motor parks. Auxiliary has appointed officers at the parks.

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“The court said we are not proscribed but suspended.

The government should return the motor parks to the union. A hungry man is an angry man. We are not ready to fight. We cannot fight against the government. We are peace lovers. We don’t want anything that can cause violence in the state. If the government can call us, we won’t mind and return us to our job.

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“We have more than 80,000 members and the government has put the entire union in the hands of one man. Our members have been in business for over 20 years. What do you want such a person to do, this time? I have eight vehicles and have sold out all of them.

“Auxiliary once attacked us in 2019 and we know what he can do, because he is backed by the government. We can’t fight but if we can’t, we know God is powerful. They took over all our offices at parks.

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“We are not ready to fight but it is three years now. We have lost some members.

“Also, we have a union’s house we are building at Aduloju. Hitherto, the union’s meetings were held in my house. But, we decided to be reporting at our union building. Recently, we got to our building and Auxiliary sent four people to us. To prevent crisis, we asked our lawyer to write a petition to the Director of State Services, the Commissioner of Police and the governor.”

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But, speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, Chairman, Disciplinary Committee of the Park Management System, Mr Mukaila Lamidi, popularly called Auxiliary, held that the NURTW had been proscribed and was only making an outcry because its members are out of the present management of the parks.

He asked the NURTW to take its agitation to the state government that proscribed it, adding that the PMS was presently running the show at parks and had no reason to foment crisis in the state.

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Asked why the PMS totally stifled NURTW members out of parks, Lamidi recalled that he was also out of the management of parks for over eight years and incarcerated for over five years during the past administration but for the present administration that was magnanimous to bring him to reckoning.

Lamidi said: “We are presently running the system. Does anyone in charge also rock the boat? They are outside the system and that is why they are complaining. They are the ones that would not hesitate for what is good to be destroyed.

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“I do not know about certain people being in any union house. What I know is that the government has proscribed the NURTW. I am unconcerned; it is government that can take action against them.

“I am doing my job and they constitute no hindrance to me doing my job.

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“If they were not proscribed, will the government bring up the Park Management System (PMS)? Why did the government not call it park union?

“How can they demand to partake in the current system?

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“Were you not in this town? Don’t you know that we were out of the system for eight years and nine months?

“We have a good governor. If he was like the former governor, he would have chased the likes of us out of this town. But, the present governor wants everybody to do things not affecting the other.

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“I was in prison custody for five years and eight months without committing any crime, probably because I am not supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Presently, I am the one at the head of table now and have no reason to foment crisis. If they have issues to trash, they should go to the State Secretariat to meet Governor Seyi Makinde.

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“The union has been proscribed. It is up to the government to decide whether they should remain at the said union’s house or chase them out. That is not my business.”

When Nigerian Tribune contacted the Special Adviser to the Oyo Governor on Security, Mr Fatai Owoseni, he tasked all and sundry to remain peaceful, likening trouble to throwing stones into the market where the victims could be anyone.

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Owoseni said: “Everybody should remain peaceful. The state has been relatively peaceful and everybody should continue to ensure that it remains relatively peaceful.

“If they make any trouble, do they know who, at the end of the day, will suffer from it? It is like throwing stones in the marketplace.”

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