Barely 10 months into his first four-year tenure, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is set for a head-on collision with the Southwest chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) over the proscription of the union’s activities by the state government.
While the union has given a seven-day ultimatum to Makinde to revert the proscription otherwise it would proceed on an indefinite strike, the government seems unperturbed, saying, “Anybody that wants to foment trouble or is being pushed by external forces outside the state to cause crisis should be ready to face the wrath of the law,” the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said.
The union had on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to the government to also revert the appointment of ex-chairman of a faction of the union in the state, Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, popularly known as Auxiliary, as the chairman, Disciplinary Committee for the motor parks.
The union threatened that NURTW will begin strike if the decision is not rescinded by the government. At a briefing at the zonal secretariat complex in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the union accused the governor of “deliberate attempt to take away the means of livelihood of its members.”
In a statement issued on behalf of the union, Comrade Kayode Agbeyangi said NURTW is a trade union recognised by the constitution and extant provision of labour laws. NURTW also urged Makinde to stop interfering in its affairs by allowing the union to carry out its legitimate duties.
Agbeyangi also condemned Makinde’s imposition of park managers to run the operations of the union at parks. He also accused the governor of acting the script of some individuals to truncate the activities of the union and arrest its leaders.
However, Adisa said the union came from a wrong angle “because Governor Makinde did not appoint any Lamidi as park manager in the first instance.”
According to him, “It was true the governor appointed 33 park managers in each of the local government but Lamidi’s name was not in any.”