By Theodore Opara & Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—DESPITE the suspension of activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, in Lagos State, members of the union have continued to issue tickets to commercial bus operators across motor parks and garages in the state.
The state government had, last week, announced the suspension of the activities from motor parks with immediate effect, following the crisis that rocked it in recent times.
The Lagos NURTW chapter, led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, had, last Thursday, pulled out from the national body of the union when the latter suspended Akinsanya over alleged misconduct, insubordination and inciting members of the state chapter against the apex body.
The development followed an earlier query sent to the NURTW boss in Lagos over alleged interference in union matters, as well as a protest staged by his supporters, during which they accused the union at the national level of unnecessarily interfering in state affairs.
The national body, subsequently, directed MC Oluomo to immediately hand over the mantle of leadership to his deputy and release all property belonging to the transport body in his possession to the state secretary, in a bid to avoid any leadership vacuum in the state.
Compliance of suspension order
Meanwhile, when Vanguard monitored the level of compliance on suspension order of operations on Monday, some NURTW members were seen in mufti selling tickets to commercial bus drivers at different locations of the state. The areas include Oshodi, Ojota, Ikeja, Egbeda, Ikotun, Mile-2, among others.
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When asked on whose authority they were selling tickets, some of the NURTW members, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, claimed they were directed by the chairman to sell the tickets pending the creation of an ad-hoc committee which will subsequently, oversee the affairs of the union.
Earlier, a statement had gone viral purportedly issued by MC Oluomo, backing the sales of tickets.
The statement, purportedly signed by MC Oluomo, reads: “In furtherance with the directive of the Lagos State Chairman, Musiliu Ayinde Akinsanya of our great Union, this is to formally inform all NURTW Chairmen and entire members of the union to operate your day to day union activities at various motor parks and garages accordingly and disregard any Policemen parading themselves to disrupt your union operations.”
I didn’t authorise sale of union tickets —Oluomo
But in a counter-statement, Oluomo denied authorization of sales, saying: “Re: Sales of Ticket at parks in Lagos: My attention has been drawn to purported news going round on social media of me authorising the sales of tickets. I have never authorised the sale of union tickets. The sales of Lagos State tickets issued are being sold at all the parks and garages across the state.
“I am a law-abiding citizen. I cannot stop the sales of government tickets; I don’t even have such powers. Please disregard the mix-up.”