By Lukman Olabiyi
The suspension on activities of members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in parks and garages by the Lagos State Government has been described as mere political statement by Lagosians due to inability of the government to enforce the order.
The state government had, last Thursday, ordered the suspension of the crisis-ridden transport union from operating at motor parks and garages in the state, but four days after the state government’s declaration, nothing has changed.
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The state government’s announcement came after the national leadership of the union, last Thursday, suspended the chairman of the Lagos State chapter, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo.
Before his suspension, Akinsanya had accused the NURTW national leadership of causing the protracted crisis in the state chapter, following the queries issued to him for alleged insubordination, and others offences which contravene the Constitution of the union.
The state government, in suspending the union’s activities within the state, in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotosom held that: “After considering the provisions of the law, the government, hereby, suspends the activities of NURTW, which must cease to operate in all parks and garages in Lagos State.
“The government will set up a committee to immediately take control of the parks and garages. Members of the committee will be key stakeholders in the sector.”
However, contrary to the state government’s pronouncement, nothing of such was done, and the parks and garages were still in firm control of the transport union at the time of this report, yesterday. The union members were still seen collecting their levies from transporters without hindrance.
Many Lagosians who spoke to Daily Sun on the development, said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration was only playing to the gallery when he made the declaration.
Samson Elumonu, a trader in Oshodi, said the state government’s declaration and the reaction of the transport union members has shown who is incharge of the state.
Jamiu Adetubo, an insurance practitioner who works in Victoria Island, said it was very disappointing that the government would give order and an ordinary transport union would flout it. He said what is currently playing out has proved that NURTW members are bigger than the state government.
Meanwhile, yesterday, MC Oluomo, officially ordered his lieutenants to return to bus stops, parks and garages and continue collecting dues.
His directive was to collect newly introduced N800 daily dues from commercial vehicles for the state government. The directive to the union members was confirmed by Akinsanya’s media aide, Jimoh Buhari.