NURTW leadership crisis: Lagos council battles national body, petitions Sanwu-Olu, others
Peace is far from returning to Lagos State Council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), as a group of elders in the council has petitioned Lagos State Government, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in charge of Zone II and the State Commissioner of Police, alleging that the union President, Tajudeen Baruwa, is trying to cause chaos in the state.
The petition followed the recent setting up of a nine-man committee by the NURTW president to run the affairs of the Lagos council for three months after the dissolution of the State Administrative Council (SAC)
Baruwa had during the inauguration of the committee appealed to the Lagos State Government to ensure peaceful coexistence between the union and the state government.
But the elders in a letter, signed by its Chairman, Elder Samuel Jonah, Secretary, Comrade Stephen Falusi and three others – Alhaji Alao Adewuyi, Alhaji Alamu Otegbeye and Comrade Bola Lemboye, accused Baruwa of running the union like his personal property without recourse to the Constitution.
In the letter, they asked why Baruwa would challenge the authority of the state government by appointing another caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the union when the government had already appointed a park management committee for peace to reign in the state.
The group said: “We are aware that all motor parks in the state belong to the government and that NURTW does not have any private Motor Park of its own. Where will his own committee work without clashing with the government-appointed Park Monitoring Committee?
“Your Excellency, It will be recalled that Baruwa was nominated from Ogun State Council of our union three years ago and six months after he assumed office, he created chaos in the union in his home state leading to the government taking over the parks till today. He did not appoint another committee there, as of this time of writing this report.
“Similar situation occurred in Oyo State, he (Baruwa) did not appoint any caretaker committee to counter the government’s appointed Park Management Committee to date.
“In Ondo State, where the government just took over the running of motor parks, he did not appoint any committee there to run side by side with the government’s committee. The big question is, why Lagos State now?
“It is sad to note that the President (Baruwa) inherited six functioning state councils of the union in the SouthWest, otherwise known as Zone II, his home base but because of his selfish interest, four out of these six states were already taken over by their state governments, including Lagos State.
“Your Excellency sir, their evil plan to breach the peace in Lagos state should not be allowed to materialise.”
According to the union leaders, Baruwa has been warned severally to run the union in line with the dictates of the constitution but refused.
But the former Lagos State chairman of (NURTW), who is the current vice president of the union, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, said only the Lagos State government and the headquarters of NURTW at Abuja can explain if the state has the power to stop a national body like (NURTW) from operating in the state since the union is under the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).