Tension in Ibadan, as NURTW factions, Oyo Govt draw battleline

By: Olwatosin Adesola

There is now a palpable tension in Ibadan as members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State and the state government are now preparing for confrontation over the management of motor parks in the state.

To this effect, Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State have called on the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and other traditional rulers in the state to plead with the state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to jettison the idea of motor park management arrangement the government is planning to put in place.

The union members made the appeal during a meeting held in Ibadan over the weekend.

They noted that the NURTW is an entity totally different from a government’s parastatal, adding that the motor park management system introduced by the government is illegal and uncalled for.

Speaking at the meeting, former chairman of the union, Alhaji Abideen Olajide, popularly called Ejiogbe, said: “We are appealing to the Olubadan of Ibadan, Alaafin of Oyo, Aseyin of Iseyin and other traditional rulers in the state to help us plead with the governor to jettison the idea of motor park management arrangement the government is putting in place

“Let it also be noted that we are not under the supervision of the state government as we are a different entity from government parastatals and agencies. We want leaders in the state to please help beg Governor Seyi Makinde to allow NURTW to carry out its statutory functions.”

Also speaking, Alhaji Waheed Adeniyi Adeoyo stated that the union has a series of judgements which made it clear that the state government has no business in the activities of the union.

“It is on this note that we call on Governor Seyi Makinde to reverse his government’s decision on the appointment of park managers across the state.”

“I want to use this opportunity to call on drivers and Okada riders not to give anybody money beginning from Monday. The people of Oyo State should prevail on Makinde to allow peace to reign by allowing NURTW to function effectively.”

In his own submission, Alhaji Abass Amolese, stated that:“The governor should try as much as possible to be liberal on this matter. Just as he can not dictate how the clothes sellers union at Gbagi market run their union, he should not do the same for drivers’ union.

“The governor should not because he want to satisfy one person infringe on the right of hundreds of people. If he wants to compensate him for whatever he thinks he has done for him, he should look for an alternative.”

The stakeholders, however, unanimously posited that the proposed list of motor park managers to be officially made public on Monday, if true is an affront on the proposed peace meeting earlier called by the government.

“The list is a confrontation to the stance of many of the NURTW groups and an insincerity of purpose by the state government. The list confirms the fear of majority members of the Oyo State NURTW that the present administration has no capacity to be fair in the affairs of the NURTW,” Olajide said.

The meeting was attended by all the warring factions of the union who have agreed to work together for the betterment of the union.

PARK MANAGERS: FOMENT TROUBLE, GO TO JAIL, OYO WARNS NURTW MEMBERS

…SAYS STATE IS REBRANDING MANAGEMENT OF PARKS.

….INSISTS BAN ON NURTW ACTIVITIES STILL IN PLACE.

The Oyo State Government, today warned some leaders of the suspended National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state to desist from carrying out the threats of violence issued in a video, which has gone viral in the last 24 hours.

A statement signed by the state’s Commissioner for Public Works and Infrastructure, Professor Raphael Afonja, noted that the government of Governor Seyi Makinde would bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone caught disturbing peace and order in the state.

The government further called on the residents of the state to ignore the empty threats by leaders of the suspended union and go about their lawful businesses, noting that the state government and all the security agencies in the state remained alert and on top of the security situation.

The government maintained that though the leaders of the NURTW might have misinterpreted the Park Management System, which is aimed at rebranding the management of motor parks in the state, it would not sit idly and watch some individuals threaten the peace of the state.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the Honourable Commissioner for Public Works and Infrastructure, Professor Raphael Afonja has been drawn to a video that has gone viral in the last 24 hours, in which some members of the banned Oyo State Chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) were seen threatening to unleash violence in the state.

“It has come to the knowledge of the Ministry that a number of commentators and some of those who were seen threatening mayhem have misinterpreted the initiative that has yielded the planned rebranding of the Motor Parks in the State under the aegis of the Park Management System(PMS) introduced by the current administration in Oyo State.

“The Ministry therefore wishes to place on record that the government of the day in Oyo State will not open its eyes and allow unwarranted activities threaten the peace of the good people of Oyo State.

“The Ministry wishes to urge the peace-loving residents of the state to go about their lawful duties without fear and intimidation.

“Let it, however, be known to any agents of violence or purveyours of trouble that the state would not hesitate to deal decisively against any threat of violence within the ambits of the law.

“Those seeking to throw the state into confusion have been at it for a long while with the series of traps that have continued to fail.

“It should also be noted that the laws of the land, including the Anti-Terrorism Act, fully and clearly denominate acts of violence and threats to instigate the same. Those who stand accused of accessories after the facts of treason and Treasonable felony are in no way excusable under the law.

“The Ministry would therefore urge everyone who do business around the Motor Parks in Oyo State to continue to abide by the laws of the land. Anything to the contrary would bring the full weight of the law to bear on the accused.”

The statement further explained that new Park Management Systems (PMS) initiative, apart from being introduced to sanitise the poor state of the parks across the state, would also assist in boosting the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and also provide employment to the teaming youths across the state who would be recruited by the Park Managers.

“In another breath, the Ministry wishes to bring to the notice of the residents and the good people of Oyo State that the new Park Management Systems (PMS) that the initiative is aimed at sanitising the poor state of the parks spread around the state.

“Besides being a way of boosting the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), the PMS will also provide employment to the teaming youths across the state who would be recruited by the Park Managers.

“The fear of job loss by those currently involved in the Park systems is unfounded because every able-bodied, and law-abiding person willing to contribute to the proper management of the parks would be gainfully engaged.

“The Honourable Commissioner also wishes to reiterate the ban on activities of the NURTW at the Parks in the state, pending the resolution of the Union’s internal conflicts,” the statement says.

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