Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Friday warned members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state not to engage in any act that can disturb the peace of the state or cause violence in their effort to change the leadership of the union.
Ajimobi stated this following widespread grapevine information that a faction of the union was threatening to take over power from the current leadership, immediately a new administration comes into power on May 29.
The governor while playing host to the National President of NURTW, Alhaji Najeem Yasin, who led other national officers of the union to pay a courtesy call on him, warned members of the union to desist from acts that can lead to loss of lives and destruction of property.
Ajimobi said the union must stick to the provisions of its constitution when it comes to the selection of its leaders and ensure that the era of using weapons to take over motor parks in the state does not come back.
“Our administration came on board when the state was a garrison command. There was brigandage everywhere caused mainly by the activities of NURTW members. There were so many no-go-areas across the state, especially in Ibadan.
“We promised not to interfere in the activities of the union and restore peace to the state which we achieved tremendously.
“Our administration did very well by whatever yardstick anyone might intend to use and we are the most peaceful, successful and security-conscious administration in the history of the state.
“I am proud to say that whatever we have achieved today in Oyo State, especially in terms of peace and security, Alhaji Yasin and his executives contributed to it.
“On your election, just follow the law and do whatever the law says. Don’t bend it. And leaders must know that anywhere you are, you cannot be there forever,” the governor said.
Speaking, the national president of the union, Yasin, assured the governor that nobody or group can take over leadership of the union unconstitutionally, saying that the era of taking over motor parks with guns, cutlasses and violence is over in the history of the union in the state.
He stated that all transitions at any level of the union would be in compliance with its constitution.
He called on members to sustain the peace currently being enjoyed under the Ajimobi-led administration.
“Your Excellency, we are here in Oyo State to meet our members and after the meeting, I felt it is important to visit you. We want to appreciate you for the peace that reigned in our union in the state.
“Since the inception of our union in Oyo State, we have never enjoyed relative peace like the one witnessed under your administration. Today, we have forgotten the era of using cutlass and other dangerous weapons to take over the leadership of the union in the state.
“Anyone who tries to take over unconstitutionally or violently should be ready to face the full wrath of the law. We are now affiliated to the International Transport Federation, and so we have gone beyond brigandage and violence.
“Some people have been going around that by May 29, another leadership is taking over but I have told them that it cannot be because it is against our unions constitution.
“By August, we would have our delegate conference where I will step down for another leadership to come in. In October, we will have state delegate conferences across the 36 states.
“We know the sacrifices you have made for our union to enjoy the current level of peace and stability and we will never allow anyone takes us back. And that is why we have come to thank you,” he said.