PALPABLE fear enveloped Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state, on Thursday as there are reports of alleged attacks on rival camps of the state chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) over the tussle of the union since the victory of the governor of the state, Seyi Makinde, in the March governorship election in the state.
The state chapter of the union is currently headed by Mr Abideen Olajide, known as Ejiogbe while it is being rumoured that another group loyal to a former acting chairman of the state, Alhaji Lamidi Mukaila, also known as Auxiliary.
On Thursday morning, reports have it that some members of the union mulled the idea of forcefully take over of some union strongholds in Mobil area, ring road, Bere, Gate and Wema Bank axis, Iwo road, all within Ibadan metropolis.
The reports of the attack spread like wildfire and forced residents of the city to start making calls around family members, friends, associates and others to consider their safety as they moved about within the town.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Oyo State Police Command, Mr Gbenga Fadeyi, however, said the situation is under control of the security agencies.
He said men of the agencies had already been stationed at some trouble spots before the news started filtering in.
He said “We have our deployments all over and they have all taken their positions in town. Taking care of all these and is not beyond their control. we are virtually working in all areas especially areas where they (NURTW) can rear their ugly heads. with the assistance of other sister security agencies, we have ensured that the situations as its been reported have not degenerated to has beyond our control.
” This morning, just like you said you heard, people had called, they tell us but our men are monitoring the areas with the directive of the Commissioner of Police. Even some of them who have the intent to cause trouble dare not carry it out.
“Maybe they are testing the power of police, we are ready and working on that. We are also working closely so that they calm down, but there is no upsurge in town.”
As at the time of filing this report, the state Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde is currently holding a security meeting with the heads of security agencies in the state.
Meanwhile, Former Acting Chairman, National Union Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Oyo state chapter, Alhaji Lamidi Mukaila, a.ka. Auxiliary has declared that he did not order any member of the union to take over administration of the union motor parks across the state.
Auxiliary stated this in a telephone interview on Thursday evening at the height of tension which arose as a result of an allegation of a forceful takeover of motor parks in the state against members loyal to him.
He said “Just as people are hearing that some members of the union are currently involved in the takeover of some motor parks in Ibadan on Thursday morning, same, I heard it as news.
” I have not ordered anybody to takeover over motor parks in the state as being rumoured. I have been at home with members of my family since I returned from the stadium where the governor of Oyo state was sworn in on Wednesday.
“The law enforcement officers in the state should do their work because I have in countless number of time advised the police and other security agencies in the state to brace up for such occasion. I can never be involved in such, nobody should link me with such negative moves.
” It is our union, I know and operates within the confinement of the culture and tradition of the union. I have no hands in the alleged crisis,” Mukaila said.