By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Following unresolved differences, Lagos council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called “MC Oluomo” has broken away from the National body of the union.
Recall that NURTW national body had suspended its Lagos union’s Chairman, Akinsanya, indefinitely over alleged misconduct, insubordination, and inciting members of the state chapter against the apex body.
The development followed earlier query sent to the NURTW boss in Lagos over alleged meddlesomenes in Union matters, as well as protest staged by Mc Oluomo supporters during which they accused the union at national level of unnecessarily interfering in the state affairs.
The national body, therefore, directed MC Oluomo to immediately hand over the mantle of leadership to his deputy chairman and release all property belonging to the transport body in his possession to State Secretary, in a bid to avoid any leadership vacuum in the state.
According to the national body, the decision to suspend MC Oluomo, as contained in a letter sent to him, aimed at preventing possible breakdown of law and order after it came to its notice that he was already inciting members against the national body and the union, “an act that is completely against NURTW constitution,” the national body maintained.
The letter, dated March 9, 2022, stated that it resolved to suspend MC Oluomo after it became obvious that MC Oluomo was not apologetic over his actions even after he was directed to explain reasons for embarking on such.
The national body, in a letter signed by its General Secretary, Kabiru Yau, read in part: “This is to convey to you that in line with Article 42 section 5, subsection I, II, III, IV, V, and VIII of the union’s constitution, you have been placed on indefinite suspension from office as State Chairman of Lagos State Council of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) with effect from March 9th, 2021.
“Your suspension is sequel to sustained acts of insubordination and gross misconduct coupled with your clandestine plans to instigate crisis and unleash mayhem on any branch or branches of the union in Lagos state that refuses to obey your order or instructions not to accept directives from the national headquarters of the Union.
“Your orchestrated plan to attack branches that may disobey your orders aforesaid will ultimately endanger public peace and order in Lagos state. It is also very likely to threaten and/or affect the lives and property of the peace-loving people of Lagos state, particularly those doing their legitimate businesses within motor parks, hence the urgent need to take drastic actions against him.
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“It is on record that you were earlier issued with queries on 25th of February 2022 and 3rd of March, 2022 respectively in which you were directed to explain the circumstances surrounding your untoward actions and to also show cause why disciplinary actions should not be taken against you for such acts of insubordination. You bluntly neglected/refuse to respond to the second query, while your response to the first query was unsatisfactory.
“In view of your suspension, you are hereby directed to hand over the mantle of leadership of the Lagos State Council to the State Deputy Chairman and also surrender all Union properties in your possession to the State Secretary of the Union forthwith.”
Oluomo, in a statement later, confirmed the breakaway of the Lagos union from the body inorder to ensure peace and tranquility in the state.
The statement read: “Crisis in NURTW.
There has been some crisis in our umbrella body, the National Union 0g Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
“All attempts to have an amicable resolution have failed. In fact. we have protested to the Lagos State Government about the State of affairs in our Union.
“Being a law abiding and responsible citizens, we have decided to explore all avenues for peace in the interest of all, we will not support any action that can threaten the peace that we cherish so much in Lagos State.
“Therefore, I, Comrade Musiliu Ayinde Akinsanya, on beha|f of the State Administrative Council (SAC), State Executive Council (SEC) members and the entire union rank and file members of the Nationai Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos State Council with over 200 Branches and Zones hereby resolve to: 1) immediate withdraw of our membership and operation from the National body of NURTW for peace to reign in Lagos State. and to 2) Write to Lagos State Governor, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation (MOT) and other relevant agencies about our decision.
“It is important to state that our action is in line with section 40 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended, which provides as follows:
“a) Every person shall be entitled to assembly freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any poiitical party, trade union or any association for the protection of his or her interests. This means that every person shall be entitled to join an association and exit freely without molestation.
“In view of this and the crisis at hand, Lagos State Government is hereby invited to consider its white paper on Transport Union activities, 2004 section 5C, which states that the Government should take over the management of any garage or motor park where there is a crisis until such is resolved by the consultative committee.
“We hereby call on Lagos State Government to take over the running of the affairs of the Union with the Constitution of a park Management Committee for Motor Garages and parks in the state, thereby ensuring peace and tranquility, pending the determination of the matter in the interest of the good people of Lagos State.”