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Lagosians raise panic alarm as NURTW plan protest against secretariat seizure

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Less than 24 hours before the planned protest by the Lagos chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) over the occupation of its headquarters by the Lagos State Parks Management Committee (LSPMC), residents across the state have started expressing concerns that the demonstration could halt commercial activities as well as peace and harmony that already existed in Lagos.

Lagosians’ concern were that should the demonstration scheduled for Thursday with 5,000 NURTW members be allowed to hold without the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, quickly intervening to address the grievances of the transport body, there could be a breakdown of law and order across the state.

The residents believed that the governor’s quick intervention would compel the LSPMC chaired by Musiliu Akinsanya popularly called MC Oluomo, to leave the building for NURTW and relocate elsewhere to continue their parks and garages administration for the state.

On Wednesday, the residents, meanwhile, have begun to appeal to one another to be on alert and avoid any flashpoints and all routes that may be used by the demonstrators across the state, in other to avoid being caught in the web of any possible attacks between the NURTW and parks management in the state.

In a message sighted by The Guild, the residents were informed of the possible threat the rally portends and what could happen during the protest the NURTW said was designed to demand that the MC Oluomo committee vacate the secretariat in Agege axis of Lagos.

One of the residents,  Abimbola Adeniyi, who spoke to our correspondents, said that he has concluded plans to cancel his engagements for tomorrow in other to avoid getting involved in whatever could have transpired during the demonstration.

Adeniyi argued that before the protests, they were aware of what had happened and that the protest could bring more troubles than expected across the state.

According to him, all that I can do is not to leave my house tomorrow because I cannot allow anyone vandalize my vehicle when I have the option of staying away from the road.

The transport body had earlier described LSPMC occupation of the building as illegal and that the suspended former chairman, MC Oluomo, does not have any legal right to lay claim to the building.

Worried by the continued hold of the building after several appeals to the committee to vacate the building proved abortive, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee for the state council of the union, Fatai Adesina popularly called Akeweje, was said to have written to the governor, intimating him of their plans for Thursday, 19th of May, 2022.

From the letter sighted by our correspondent, Adesina alleged that MC Oluomo’s continued hold on the building was impeding the Lagos chapter of the NURTW caretaker committee’s ability to function effectively across the state.

Adesina stressed that the vacation of the secretariat has become necessary, as MC Oluomo had renounced his membership of the union after being suspended by the national body over alleged insubordination, among other offenses.

In the letter obtained by The Guild, the caretaker committee chairman disclosed that they had waited for a long and that they could not wait any more, as the continued delay has incapacitated the members.

According to the letter, “The authentic members of NURTW in Lagos State wish to inform your office that we shall stage a protest action to the Governor’s Office, Alausa, Ikeja on 19th May 2022, to draw the attention of Government and Heads of Security Agencies to continuous illegal occupation of NURTW State office at Agege LGA by impostors masquerading as Parks Management Committee, whose activities has impeded the Lagos State NURTW Caretaker Committee members headed by Fatai Adesina from exercising full authority required to discharge its duties as stipulated in appointment letter issued by National Chairman of NURTW on April 14th, 2022.

“It is on record that the authentic members of NURTW in Lagos State had exercised restraints in using offensive actions to carry out its mandate till now despite provocations from members of Parks Management Committee. But our patience is exhausted.

“In view, aggrieved members of authentic NURTW in Lagos state wish to appeal that the impostors who presently, illegally occupy the State office of the Union be directed to vacate the premises on or before 19th May, 2022 to avoid imminent breakdown of law and order that will engender serious security breach in the state failing which the State Caretaker Committee of NURTW will have no option but to mobilise over five thousand (5,000) of its members to resort to lawful offensive actions needed to take over structures of NURTW in the State which rightfully belong to it.

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