Is Governor Ajimobi somehow responsible for the return of insecurity to Ibadan?
This is certainly not the best of times for Ibadan residents at armed thugs return to the city’s streets. Just this week,a bloody clash similar to the one recorded about three weeks ago at Iwo Road interchange, Ibadan seemed to be brewing between members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, in Ibadan metropolis.
According to media report, the two rival associations engaged in gun duels at Iwo Road over collection of fees and control of motor parks in the city which led to injuries on both sides. Though, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade has waded into the crisis, members of RTEAN now live in palpable fear as they alleged that their rival union, NURTW members have displaced them from their motor parks in the 11 councils in the state.
In a petition to the Commissioner of Police, CP signed by RTEAN Chairman in Ona Ara Local Government, Mr Nureni Idris, said his members now walk in groups for fear of being attacked by NURTW members alleging that a chairman of the drivers’ union in the local government is threatening his members on a daily basis. But, a member of the NURTW, Akin James absolved his colleagues from the allegations.
Wetin concern Governor Ajimobi?
I remember few weeks ago when the governor was not finding it funny with labor and union leaders in the state; images emerged on social media of the governor fraternizing with members of the NURTW who paid a solidarity visit to him. Those guys were numerous and I began to do some soul searching of its future implications.
I went down memory lane and I analysed the relationships between past governors and transport workers. The union members were able to perpetrate their dastard acts more freely when they are in good terms with the incumbent governor – similar trend seems to be emerging with Governor Ajimobi.
When he outlawed the union, there was peace everywhere but when they came back, residents of Ibadan began to panic even though NURTW members didn’t foment trouble cos we all know that those guys can’t stay calm for long.
I believe the major catalyst for the return of NURTW in Ibadan to its old dangerous ways was when the governor decided to openly associate with the members of the union to pass a message across to NLC, TUC and civil servants in the state that he still enjoyed vast support. Wrong move Your Excellency, wrong move!!!
I am very much confident that peace will be restored when the governor firmly warns the union members of his readiness to ban their activities if any member of the association is mentioned in relation to improper actions. Ibadan cannot afford to go back to those scary and unsafe days which would destroy the progress recorded in the past years.
Ajimobi does not need NURTW members to score any major political points. Instead, what he needs badly is to consolidate on his achievements and secure his legacy – none of these is feasible by going soft on Ibadan’s major problem – NURTW.