Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Saturday warned that his administration will jail any member of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) who troubles the peace in the state.
The governor, in a media chat organised to mark his first 30 days in office, stated that NURTW members caught causing trouble or instigating violence will be jailed under the terrorism act.
Recall that there were threats of succession violence among members of the union immediately after Makinde was sworn on May 29. Two days later, he banned the union indefinitely followng the outcome of an emergency state security council meeting. He directed the local governments to take over the parks.
Asked when he was considering lifting the ban following several complaints by some of the union members that their means of livelihood have been frozen by the proscription, Governor Makinde stated that the ban will be lifted once he was satisfied with the union members’ readiness for peaceful activities.
His words: “We are in constant engagement with them. We are not out to punish anybody and the intention is not to stop people’s means of livelihood. We can’t just accept a situation where because of a few NURTW members are fighting, the rest of the populace will be living in fear.
“I know what happened on the day of my inauguration… I don’t want a single life lost under my watch. I won’t wait for that to happen. In fact, I’ll put as many of them in jail if they refuse to allow peace to reign.
“The ban will remain until they demonstrate readiness to live and exist peacefully. We’ll lift it immediately we are satisfied. But if they continue to trouble the peace of the state, they will be jailed under the terrorism act. We’ll use that law to jail troublemakers”
The governor promised that the state government will invest in the major garages in the state by providng amenities like toilets, lighting projects and general modernisation of the facilities. He said the parks are also sources of revenue for the state but that it won’t be done at the expense of the hardworking people.