Oyo NURTW factions meet, agree to form joint executive council

The warring factions in the banned Oyo state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) put themselves on the marks awaiting the shot of the gun by Governor Seyi Makinde to lift the ban of the union as they reached a compromise to form a joint executive committee.

The agreement to form an 18-man executive council, comprising nine each from the Abideen Olajide (Ejiogbe) and Mukaila Lamidi (Auxiliary) was reached at a meeting headed by National President, NURTW, Najeemdeen Yasin, and held in Ibadan.

Yasin made this resolution known on Thursday when he led Olajide and Lamidi to governor’s office, Ibadan, to brief the state government of the union’s strides to resolve the crisis.

He avowed that both factions had agreed to the sheath their swords and had been mandated to nominate members to run the union in the state for the next four years.

With the latest move, Yasin prayed Makinde lifts the ban which will be followed by the inauguration of the new executive council.

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“We thank God that we have resolved the problems. Both sides have agreed to work together for the interest of peace in Oyo state ad we have worked out an arrangement for both sides to bring nine persons each to form the next 18-man executives and leaders of the union to run the affairs of the union for the next four years.

“Both sides have agreed and that is why we are here. And I will use this opportunity to thank His Excellency Governor Seyi Makinde for his intervention and at the same time appeal to him to lift the ban on our Union in Oyo state.

“As it stands, the Union has not been unbanned because the Governor has not made such pronouncement. The 18man committee will serve as full executives and they will be inaugurated as soon as the Governor lifts the ban and gives us the go ahead,” Yasin said.

In their separate remarks, Lamidi and Olajide described the resolution as favourable, urging members of the union to remain peaceful and law-abiding.

This is as they appealed to Makinde to lift the five-week-old ban on the union.

Members of the union can only wait on Makinde who has said that the ban will only be lifted if the two factions of the union show that they won’t clash anymore.

He had explained that the ban was to prevent degeneration to the crisis going by reports of clashes among the two factions and palpable fear that gripped residents of the state upon his inauguration as governor.

Speaking during a media chat to mark his first month in office, Makinde had said, “We are in constant engagement with them. We are not out to punish anybody. We want people to live their lives as normal as possible. We don’t want to tamper with people’s means of livelihood.

“However, we cannot accept a situation where because of just a few persons making up the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the rest of the people will be living in palpable fear.

“On the day of my inauguration, I heard that there were clashes between the two factions of the NURTW and I told them that regardless if they supported me during the election or not, elections are over and this is governance.

“So, I swore to an oath to ensure the safety of our people. So, if they are ready and they demonstrate to us that there won’t be clashes anymore, I will lift the ban almost immediately. That is the condition they must fulfil. We will never go back to a situation where people were killed at Iwo Road.

“I don’t want a single life to be lost during my watch. And I will wield the big hammer if I sense that something untoward is about to happen. I won’t wait until it happens.

“And I need to warn the union of the existence of the anti-terrorism act. I will put as many in jail if they are not ready to maintain peace in Oyo state. It doesn’t matter whether you were our supporter during the election or not. It is the same standard for everybody.”