NATA protests take-over of mechanic villages by Lagos govt
Chairman, Nigeria Auto-mobile Technicians (NATA), Mr. Jacob Fayehun, has expressed dismay over the alleged take-over of mechanic villages by the state government, saying it had resulted in untimely death of some of its members.
He spoke at the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Symposium tagged Federalism, antidote to national insecurity.
According to him, eight of its members have died in the last six months; some suffered strokes and other ailments, with over N500m in loss of income.
“We are here to protest the illegal demolition of our mechanic villages given to us in 1981 by late Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
The time mechanic villages were given to us, most of those areas were swampy, but we developed, maintained and made them habitable for our work.
“Now, the Ministry of Physical Planning, through Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Mr. Toyin Fayinka has taken over, demolish our workshops and sell the places to highest bidders,” he said.
Fayehun said that 11 of the mechanic villages across Surulere, Abule Odofin, Ifelagba, Ikorodu and Ladipo, among other areas of the state had been taken over by the government without due consideration for wellbeing of the workers.
“Lagos State is killing us; coronavirus is not killing us; none of our members die due to the virus, but the state. Some of our members have died, suffered strokes and some are in the hospitals; even as we are here.
“All these are because of shock; when our villages were destroyed, they took vehicles of our customers away and we were forced to pay N100,000 on each of the vehicles before they were released; you can understand our predicaments,” he said.
The NATA chairman, on behalf of the union, threatened to continue picketing the state assembly until the union’s demands for the return of the mechanic villages to them were met.
He said: “We want our mechanic villages back; this is just the beginning, next week we are coming out again until there is solution to our problem; without us the economy will be paralysed.
“We are fighting this battle for the future generation, so that all our youths and students in technical schools can have a place to work.”
He called on NADECO members to help in reclaiming their mechanic village, so that they can his members, who had for long denial the opportunity of working in and around Lagos will free intimidation.
Responding to their complain, NADECO Chieftain, Ayo Opadokun noted that their complain will be communicated to the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the issue will soon be resolve.