By Olasunkanmi Akoni
National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Lagos branch had been enjoying some level of unity, peace among members, until recently when some powerful forces caused a stir following the outcome of National Convention of the union in Abuja which elected new executive members for another term.
The result of the election however, did not augur well with forces that saw it as mere selection and imposition of candidates against the wishes of the majority.
The disgruntled forces are: Musiliu Akinsaya, popularly called MC Oluomo, who was the state Treasurer and also the branch Chairman in Oshodi, Mustapha Kunle, popularly called Seego, a state Auditor, he controls the Lagos Island and Sulaimon Ojora, aka Kudeleti, an ex-Officio member in charge of Ijora area.
The travail of the trio who are very powerful members of the union, started when they lost their post disgracefully in the last National Election of Thursday October 8, 2015 in Abuja, which led to the factionalisation of the union.
Their losses, it was gathered, was due to a grand plot by these forces to upstage the current Chairman of NURTW in the state, Tajudeen Agbede who enjoyed tremendous support of the National President, Najeem Yasin and majority of members.
The grouse of the faction stemmed from the fact that Agbede was elected as the National Financial Secretary and at the same time retaining the chairmanship in Lagos as encouraged by Yasin.
The group contended that the act negates the constitution of the union which stipulates that any member elected as national officer automatically, ceases to be a state executive which in this case played out.
The national president of the union, it was gathered had prior to the election in Abuja directed members to return all state chairmen who are loyal to the national body and were doing very well in their respective state, hence, the return of Agbede.
Yasin who was said to have been piqued by the audacity of the faction to flout his directive, urged Agbede to relieve the dissenting members of their post in the state executive and confine them to chairman of branch level as a punishment.
Agbede, carried out the directive and relegated them to branch chairman which did not go down well with the trio and their supporters who have been threatening to fight back in a violent manner to get justice.
Agbede replaced Oluomo post with Baba Ajilo, a long time union loyalist as the new Treasurer.
Subsequently, the swearing-in of the 24 new state executive members which was scheduled to take place at the union’s headquarters at Abule-Egba was shifted following fillers of likely disruption from aggrieved party.
The swearing-in, it was gathered later took place at Agbede hotel somewhere in Ogba area of the state.
The other party saw it as a victory, arguing that the status-quo remains as the so called new exco were not properly formed. They claimed that they still have the power of the state executive to function. This has further heightened tension among the union members who were spoiling for action.
It will be recalled that similar incident happened between Oluomo and former NURTW boss Rafiu Olohunwa which resulted in violent clash between the two supporters before Asiwaju’s intervention that later calmed the situation after an accord was reached.
Recently, prior to the 2015 general elections, Oluomo was declared wanted by police authority then over various criminal acts due to power tussle. Oluomo later went into hiding for several days to avoid arrest. Because of link with All Progressives Congress, APC, and his affiliation with the National Leader of APC and former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Oluomo was able to come out of the police web unscathed. It was believed that the absence of Oluomo during the general elections affected the chances of APC in the area because of his popularity and supporters. For the first time the progressives, APC, lost quite a large number of votes and seats to the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
According to reliable sources, Oluomo had it real rough during the last convention in Abuja. In the course of the general elections MC wanted to impose some of the candidates of his preference on the delegates, but he had his hand burnt from those who knew his usual antics and were prepared to give him a show down.
As a proactive government, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, sensing imminent danger summoned an emergency enlarged stakeholders meeting last week, where all frayed nerves were calmed after exhaustive session at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.