Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, on Friday gave the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), conditions to lift the ban, which he placed on the activities of the union in the state in the past two weeks over threats to public peace.
He gave the conditions during a meeting he held with the National President of NURTW, Alhaji Nojeem Yasin, in his office on Friday. Yasin led a high-powered delegation of the union to the meeting, which also had service commanders in the state in attendance.
Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, said the conditions given to the national body of the union for the ban to be lifted bordered on maintenance of peace and security, adding that the union was proscribed based on threats to public peace on May 31, this year, as a result of leadership tussle that resulted to pockets of violence.
He stated that service commanders, including the Commissioner of Police, State Director of Department of State Services (DSS), and representative of General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 2 Division of Nigerian Army at the meeting, revealed the security situation of the union to the national president of NURTW and his team, adding that Yasin agreed that maintenance of peace and security is non-negotiable in the state.
According to Adisa, Governor Makinde is ready to lift the proscription on the activities of the union as soon as possible, if members of the union in Oyo State were ready to maintain peace among themselves.
The National President of NURTW, Alhaji Yasin, who addressed journalists after the meeting stated: “My mission in the state is to see the governor on the situation of our union in the state and His Excellency has said that he did not proscribe the union on his own but that he did it in the interest of peace in Oyo State because there’s a threat to the security of lives and property in the state and that was why he had to proscribe the union.
“He has asked me to go and meet our members and assure him that our members in Oyo State will remain in peace and they will not cause violence or hinder the movement of people of Oyo State. By the time I do that, he is ready to lift the ban on our activities.
“The governor even said if I can do it today (Friday) and give him the assurance today, he will unban it. There are no terms and or conditions attached to the lifting of the ban, other than for us to go and work things out with our rank and file, and entire union membership, and make sure that we assure him that there is going to be peace, and that by the time we do that, he will unban our activities.
“I think with the assignment, within one week we can resolve it. Even the governor suggested that if I could stay back in Ibadan and resolve it today and tomorrow but I have another assignment in Zamfara, to which I am already committed.
“Between now (Friday) and next week, we will work it out and he (governor) has given us his words that immediately we can assure him of peace, he will unban us. And by the special grace of God, there is going to be peace. There is nobody that is above the law. I have told the security agencies that one person cannot hold the entire state to ransom and security operatives are there. I can assure you that the issue will be addressed soon.”
Fielding questions on the mode of changing leadership of the union, Yasin explained that NURTW has a transition process, saying by August, this year, “immediately the national body conducts the national delegate conference, all states executive councils stand dissolved and within two months (August to October); the whole 36 states leadership will be reconstituted. And Oyo state will not be an exception.”