August 29, 2023

Alleged Invasion: NURTW mobilizes state chapters to defend union

No politician can use NURTW members again – Chairman

…’How our National Secretariat was invaded by thugs and hoodlums, backed by security operatives’ – Chairman

By Luminous Jannamike, ABUJA

In response to an alleged invasion of its National Secretariat by security operatives, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has issued a directive to its state chapters, urging them to mobilize and resist any attempts to take over their union.

During a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, the Union’s President, Comrade Prof. Tajudeen Baruwa, denounced the invasion as an “egregious and undemocratic” action.

“This alarming act was carried out with the intent to undermine the democratically elected leadership of our Union, led by Comrade Baruwa, and install a puppet leadership from Lagos State.

“The NURTW calls all its state chapters to begin mobilization across the nation to resist this attempt at taking over our Union.” Baruwa said .

He urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun to withdraw the police operatives and associated hoodlums from their National Secretariat immediately.

According to Baruwa, a large contingent of police officers, accompanied by thugs and hoodlums, cordoned off and invaded the National Headquarters of the NURTW.

He argued that such government interference in the internal affairs of a trade union blatantly violates democratic principles and contradicts established legal processes for addressing industrial disputes as enshrined in Nigeria’s constitution.

Prof. Baruwa urged the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to take immediate steps to protect their Union from hijacking forces.

The Union reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to the principles of democracy, justice, and workers’ rights. They called on Nigerians to join them in condemning these actions and safeguarding the nation’s democratic values.

However, the President of the NURTW warned that if these unlawful actions persist, they may be compelled to defend the rights and interests of their members and the Nigerian people as a whole.

“We are not a war booty that can be handed over as a trophy to anyone as compensation for whatever reasons,” Baruwa added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the NURTW Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Chapter, Alhaji Ibrahim Sanda Kuje, gave a detailed account of the invasion at a separate briefing.

He stated that the incident occurred on Monday, August 28th, at about 7:00 am when a group claiming to be Park Management Committee from Lagos, Ogun, and Osun mobilized thugs and hoodlums to attack their National Secretariat.

Kuje stated, “They attacked and chased away all the National officers, including the National President, while the police watched them.

“This is an illegality that is being influenced by some top government officials using security agents to back these disgruntled elements who have renounced their membership from the Union.

“We appeal to our members across the states to remain calm but be on standby.”

Kuje appealed to President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to intervene urgently to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

He also called upon the Nigerian police and Department of State Services (DSS) to stop backing the disgruntled elements causing confusion.