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Chaos as Osun NURTW members clash over control of motor parks

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo 
29 November 2022   |   2:21 am
There was pandemonium in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, yesterday, as factional members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) stormed some motor parks, chased both passengers and drivers

There was pandemonium in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, yesterday, as factional members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) stormed some motor parks, chased both passengers and drivers away to sack their executives and take control.

Armed with guns, clubs and other dangerous weapons, the members arrived at the park at about 7:00 a.m., yesterday, and besieged the Old Garage to take over control of the motor park from Kazeem Oyewale (aka Asiri Eniba).

Burnt car belonging to a union member along Ayetoro area of Osogbo… yesterday PHOTO: TIMOTHY AGBOR

The Guardian learnt that shortly after the swearing-in of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the governor of the state on Sunday, the rampaging motor unionists, who claimed that the chairman of the park is a loyalist of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the tenure of Adegboyega Oyetola was over.

The attackers claimed that they are supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and therefore would want to exercise some authority in the management of parks.

During the fracas, hoodlums shot indiscriminately into the air to scare passengers who were at the parks to board vehicles and chased away the union officials at the parks.

Another set of NURTW members also launched another attack at Oke-Baale, Ilesa Garage, Aregbe and Olaiya Ojuirin garages, attacking members of transport unions at the parks.

The car belonging to one of the union members, who escaped with machete cuts was set on fire in the middle of the road in Ayetoro area of Osogbo.

Owing to the violent incidents, shops around the affected areas were immediately closed, while passersby and travellers scampered to safety.

Few hours later, a group of transporters came together with arms and stormed the state secretariat of the union in Sadiat area of Osogbo and turned the place into a theatre of war.

They were said to have inflicted injuries on the state Financial Secretary of the union, Sunday Akinwale, with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, while a pregnant woman working in the union secretariat, simply identified as Doyin was stripped naked and her clothes torn.

It was also gathered that the windscreen of Akinwale’s Toyota Sienna was reportedly broken and vandalised beyond repairs by hoodlums.

Similarly, the secretary of the union, Osundiya Akinsola, narrowly escaped being killed as he was rescued from the secretariat.

It was gathered that it took the prompt intervention of the security operatives before peace was given a chance. After much persuasion, those earlier locked in the secretariat were let out and chased away.

Meanwhile, APC in the state has alleged that over 500 of its members have been attacked in the incidents and a number of properties destroyed, including APC campaign vehicles, and billboards, particularly in Osogbo, the state capital.

In a statement by its acting state chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, the party said the return of PDP into governance in Osun has marked the continuation of brigandage and political siege of yesteryears.

The opposition party, then, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali to urgently intervene.

Reacting, Governor Ademola Adeleke, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed directed union leaders to maintain peace across parks, warning against violence.

“Governor Senator Ademola Adeleke has warned against violence among transport workers’ unions in the state, directing security agencies to maintain the status quo across motor parks.

“All union leaders and their supporters are hereby directed to remain calm and bring any grievances to the State Government for resolution.

Security agencies are consequently directly to maintain law and order,” the statement added.