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Balogun accuses Oyo govt of backing criminals

By Ola Ajayi
THERE appears to be no end to the controversy trailing the recent attack on the residence of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Oyo State, Senator Lekan Balogun, by some suspected assailants even as he condemned the state government for allegedly shielding some notorious men of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW.

He lamented that when he was violently attacked at the State House of Assembly some years ago, it was the “present state government that entered “nolle prosequi” and withdrew the case after frantic efforts, including a directive from the police authority.

If the state had chosen to take sides with criminals, what is the fate of the fight against crime?” The politician was attacked in his Alarere residence on Ibadan-Ife expressway last Tuesday by a six-man gang
around 11.30pm.

While the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Adisa Baba Bolanta who had personally visited the residence of the politician insisted no arrest was made, Senator Balogun told Vanguard, weekend, that one of the members of NURTW had been arrested in a car allegedly used to carry out surveillance on his residence the previous day.

He said, the car was apprehended with the suspect and a pump action gun recovered from him in the afternoon. He asked the CP to investigate the arrest made by policemen at Iwo Road on Friday.

He alleged that a cache of arms and ammunition had been stored in large quantity in an hotel owned by a notable leader of the drivers’ union in the state.

Accuses NURTW of storing arms

“Let all security agencies disarm both factions of the NURTW so that Oyo State people can enjoy peace because they have a large quantity of arms in their possession and they terrorize, and intimidate ordinary people with these arms,” he alleged.

But the union had, through its Organising Secretary, Comrade Ganiyu Fakayode, denied being in possession of arms and ammunition or having a hand in the attack on his residence.

NURTW denies storing arms

Balogun said the reaction of the illegal wing of the union was a confirmation that they were out for mischief,
expressing fear that dangers loomed in the political atmosphere in the state if the police failed to maintain a
close monitoring on members of the union.

He said, “the security agencies have a greater duty to disarm these union men. They move about with dangerous weapons. What is their business keeping such weapons? We know a few places these weapons are kept. For your information, the NURTW man owns a hotel in Olodo area of Ibadan where some of these weapons are being kept.

This, he said, would be counter-productive and capable of undermining good governance and development by entrenching a culture of impunity.


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