9th August, 2010
The Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, in Oyo State,Â Lateef Akinsola a.k.a. Tokyo, has challenged the proscription of the union by Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.
Tokyo vowed not to accept the ban, saying that he would fight through constitutional means to reverse it.
Tokyo, who spoke with P.M.NEWS on phone this morning stated: â€œWe will not accept this. We cannot accept this. The next step is to use all the legal means to fight the government. We will not cause any chaos because we donâ€™t want crisis in our state.â€
The NURTW boss, who described the ban as unconstitutional, illegal and an undue interference in NURTW matters, said: â€œGovernor Alao-Akala has, by his latest action, shown his true colour as regards his role in the impasse that has rocked Oyo NURTW since the past one year when Eleweomo was smuggled in through the back door to head the union. The most pertinent question is: does any state government have the constitutional power to proscribe a national union like the NURTW? Another question is: why is it now that such a pronouncement is coming up barely a few seconds after my reinstatement following the judgment of the National Industrial Court?â€
The contending Chairman of the union, Lateef Salako a.k.a. Eleweomo, in a telephone chat said that government would always take the best decision for the protection of lives and property, adding that the union has no option than to accept the decision of the government which is in the best interest of the general public.
â€œWe donâ€™t have any option because nobody can fight with the government. We will just beg the government to forgive whatever sin we might have committed and give us another chance. We will not misbehave again,â€ he said.
However, the Oyo State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) Comrade Bashiru Apapa, a renowned Ibadan-based activist, Moshood Erubami and a legal scholar, Dr. Doyin Odebowale of the University of Ibadan, UI, former Publicity Secretary of Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA), Ibadan branch, Peopleâ€™s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, Senator Lekan Balogun and Yinus Akintunde unequivocally condemned the action of the government, saying that it was more of a political decision than the protection of lives and property of the people.
Apapa, who opined that no state government has the right to ban any union because no union is a creation of any state government, stated that rather than proscribing it, government should have called the two parties involved in the saga and resolved their problems amicably.
He stated that NURTW has done worse thingsÂ in the past and the former administrations did not ban the union.
Erubami said that no governor should act by fiat thereby undermining what the court pronounced.
He berated the state governor for taking such a decision at the weekend barely an hour after Tokyo was reinstated into the office with the assistance of the Nigeria police as instructed by the court.
Two weeks ago, National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja ordered that Eleweomo should vacate the secretariat of the Oyo State NURTW as the chairman of the union, warning him not to parade himself as the NURTW chairman in the state.
In order to thwart the courtâ€™s decision, Eleweomo filed for stay of execution but the court struck it out and restated its position that Tokyo is the duly elected chairman of the state NURTW.
The court also ordered the Nigeria police to enforce its decision by providing security for Tokyo to resume office.