By Leke Adeseri, Regional Editor,S-West & Ola Ajayi
The latest is that in his move to block all loopholes that could stop its re-election, the Oyo State Government led by Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has revoked the Certificate of Occupancy of the state secretariat of the Oyo State National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at the Olomi area of the state capital and, according to impeccable sources, moves are actually on to demolish the edifice.
In a counter move, Tokyo, after raising a fresh alarm that the State Government, in alleged connivance with the police, has concluded plans to get rid of him at all cost for the governor to have his way come 2011 election, has gone into hiding; a tact described by the former chairman of the proscribed Union, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Silako, a.ka. Eleweomo, as deceitful.
THE rivalry between Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and factional leader of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, a.k.a., Tokyo, is heading for the worst.
And like the fight of the proverbial two elephants, people of Oyo State, particularly residents of Ibadan, the state capital, might be in for another huge orgy of violence.
The latest is that in his move to block all loopholes that could stop his re-election, the Oyo State Government led by Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has revoked the Certificate of Occupancy of the state secretariat of the Union at the Olomi area of the state capital and, according to impeccable sources, moves are actually on to demolish the edifice.
In a counter move, Tokyo, after raising a fresh alarm that the State Government in alleged connivance with the police has concluded plans to get rid of him at all cost. He claimed the governor is harassing him because of the 2011 election, and has gone into hiding.
This is a tact described by the former chairman of the proscribed Union, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Silako, a.ka. Eleweomo, as deceitful.
The former union leader, said in a statement that the claim should be “seen as another trick by Tokyo to perpetrate another crime and pretend to be innocent.”
The reinstated union leader had disclosed that he was running away from the state because of alleged plans by some people to cause trouble.
According to Eleweomo, now that Tokyo has gone into hiding, “who is going to face the trial on various allegations of murder allegedly levelled against him, including the murder of my two security guards which case is still pending in court?”
He added: “The fact is that Tokyo is claiming not to be around so that by the time he commits another heinous act, people will not think about him since he claimed he was not around.”
The union itself is already factionalized with Tokyo holding tight to the order of the National Industrial Court in Abuja which reinstated him after what many observers described as kangaroo impeachment, while the former Chairman of the Union, Eleweomo, is still claiming to be the state boss of the union.
There is looming disaster– Senator Lekan Balogun
Commenting on the imbroglio between the governor and the union, Senator Lekan Balogun who said he would continue to fight injustice as long as he lives, said there was looming disaster in the state unless the state government left the union alone and also obeyed the court order.
Senator Balogun who spoke with Vanguard, yesterday, hinted that Tokyo had gone to court over alleged plan of the governor to revoke the certificate of occupancy of the secretariat located at Olomi area of Ibadan.
Balogun said: “The insistence of the governor to pull down the secretariat of the union in the state is a recipe for disaster.” Alleging partiality by the state Governor and the police, he wondered why Eleweomo, who he said, masterminded the attack on the secretariat is still walking in the street as a free man after many people had died.
He added: “When it happens, the governor would have no one to blame but himself. I don’t still understand the role of the police by collaborating with the state government to allow lawlessness to reign. What they seem to be telling the people is that we have the power to reinstate him but we won’t.
If you look at the whole thing, you will notice that Tokyo has been pushed to the wall. Honestly, I see a picture of tragedy and total disaster.”
Balogun advised the governor to leave the union alone and allow peace to reign. And for peace to reign, the PDP chieftain urged the state government and the police to obey the court order and duly recognise Tokyo as the chairman of the union.
The governor erred– ex Gov Ladoja
Alhough the former Governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja would not want to be dragged into the union’s matter, he still believes that the governor erred at some point.
He noted that some people were still dead to reasoning, “why should the government wait until the court gave judgment. How can somebody win a case and you would not allow justice to take its course. We are all tired of this government. We want another person to come there.”
Govt has no moral right to revoke union’s Cof O – Secretary
Probably for fear of being arrested, Tokyo has switched off his lines. But, the State Secretary of the union, Mr. Lekan Aleshinloye maintained that the government lacked the moral right to revoke the certificate of ownership of the land because it was the union that bought the land not the government.
He added that those from whom the land was bought are still alive noting that it was sheer wickedness that the state would insist on pulling down the office of the union.
Aleshiloye said: “It is only a plot of land. How can the government say it wants to revoke the C of O of such a land in an obscure place. It is a clear evidence of wickedness. What does he want to do with a plot of land. He only wants to use his power on us.”
Govt is giving undue popularity to the union – ANPP
The State Secretary of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Mr. Sola Osotoye reasoned that it was the Akala’s government that gave undue popularity to the union.
He said the NURTW was just like any other association and it is unfortunate that the state government has promoted it because the PDP government has been using the union to win election.
We can’t ignore the union – Akala’s aide
But the Senior Special Assistant on Inter Governmental Relations, to the Governor, Alhaji Olaywola Taofeek, described the claim of Osotoye that the PDP has been using the union. as a non-issue. He asked if the ANPP were to be in government, would it not use the union.
He said bluntly that it is difficult for any government to ignore the union considering its large membership, stressing that the union members were Nigerians who had the right to vote for their leaders,
Olayiwola said: “The issue of the NURTW getting involved in politics did not start now but dates back to the era of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN. It did not start from this Republic. It started during the NPN period. No government would want to ignore the union because of its importance and many members in the union.”
He alleged that Alhaji Lamidi Adesina invited Tokyo into politics either directly or indirectly, adding: “ Look at what is happening in Ekiti and Lagos States which are ACN states. So, the NURTW members are part of the society.”
Several calls made to the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Affairs, Mr. Gbade Ishola were not picked while the Senior Special Adviser on Public Communication, Prince Dotun Oyelade promised to call back but never did.