By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Unlike other unions, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos Chapter has shrugged off the number of causalities and negative effects clashes between its members had on residents in Surulere axis, ordering the 186 branch chairmen in the state to pay N585.9 million as inauguration fee.
Rather than commiserate with families, console those injured especially non-members during the face-off that started from NURTW members in Pako and Cassette Bus stops in Coker-Aguda Local Council Development Area (LCDA), the transport Union leadership led by Musiliu Akinsanya popularly called MC Oluomo, allegedly boasted at a meeting that not even the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, can caution the Union on what their actions would be.
At a meeting of the transport union branch chairmen, MC Oluomo, instead of proffering solutions to the crisis that had continued to rock the union since his emergence, suspended scores of chairmen for not been loyal to him after his inauguration two months ago, replacing ex-chairman, Tajudeen Agbede.
The Guild learned that MC Oluomo accused the chairmen of orchestrating the protest that erupted after his inauguration as chairman, resulting in the clashes that erupted lately in different NURTW branches.
After many pleaded especially members, MC Oluomo, the Guild gathered, directed that each of the 186 branch chairmen including those suspended to immediately pay N3.1 million to authenticate their Branch and inaugurate them as branch chairman.
As the crisis between members in Ijesha intensified, several other members had expected that the MC Oluomo led Executive would convey a meeting to find a lasting solution to the issue, rather, ordered that the inauguration fee be paid latest on Thursday.
In the circular sent to the chairmen and obtained by the Guild, MC Oluomo threatened that any branch chairman that failed to comply would be considered as a defaulter and be punished severely for the act.
“URGENT REMINDER!!! Dear Comrades, This is to officially REMIND all NURTW Branches to ensure that your Branch Nomination Forms/Inauguration payments are urgently paid to the appropriate office at the State Council Secretariat on or before Thursday 19th December 2019 unfailingly. Comply to avoid the fixed sanction for defaulters. Thanks, yours State Council, NURTW (LSC)”.
A member of the Union, who does not want his name in print, told our correspondent that the funds have been received by the leadership of the union as directed by the State chairman.
He lamented that some branches that were just getting over the internal crisis which rocked them after MC Oluomo’s emergence as chairman could not but task themselves to raise the fund to avoid been penalised.
According to him, since the NURTW President, Tajudeen Baruwa, installed MC Oluomo, scores of members who contested against his anointed candidates have been victimized.
He stressed that if the leadership had been proactive, action taken by chairman, Coker-Aguda LCDA, Omobolanle Akinyemi-Obe, suspending Road Transport Employment Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and NURTW following clashes over leadership in the council would not have occurred.
According to him, we expected the State Chairman to immediately set up a committee that will look into each factions claim and resolve it amicably. This was the practice during Agbede’s tenure. And you all can see how we were able to achieve less crisis among members.
It was, however, learned that RTEAN members that joined the fight had earlier been hinted that the overthrow of the incumbent administration in the council led by Waheed Eshinlokun would mark end of their activities in Ijesha because NURTW leadership under MC Oluomo aimed to be sole collector of all transport dues.
A member of the NURTW, who did not want his name mentioned, narrated that efforts by members to end the face-off have failed to yield success due to MC Oluomo’s interest in who becomes chairman of the Ijesha branch.
“Both factions have held meetings thrice with MC Oluomo and after the meeting, MC Oluomo will hold another discussion with the Olorunlugo faction and the outcome is always another attack on the other faction.