Though the leadership of the Oyo State Council of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has kicked against Governor Seyi Makinde’s proscription of the union, however, commuters, as well as, commercial drivers are excited at the development. Three leaders of the union are in the heart of the struggle to control the lucrative business of transportation in the state.
They are two former chairmen, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo) and Basiru Lamidi (a.k.a Auxiliary), as well as the erstwhile Chairman Alhaji Abideen Olajide, a.k.a. Ejiogbe. It was in the course of the former chairmen’s bid to oust Ejiogbe after another administration led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that fighting broke out amongst them at the gate of the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Oke Ado, Ibadan, while the inauguration of Governor Makinde was on-going on May 29.
However, since the NURTW officials have been ordered out of garages, commercial drivers now heave a sigh of relief, as they ply their routes unhindered by the union officials who were hitherto collecting series of levies from them. According to a taxi driver, who identified himself simply as Semiu, “In fact, the decision of GSM (Governor Seyi Makinde) to ban the NURTW is very wise.
The proscription has brought a great deal of relief to us. We are now free from the unwarranted chasing the union officials subject one to every time. Let the government appoint officials to be collecting dues from us. That is better than the union people”.
Similarly, a commercial motorcycle rider, popularly called ‘Okada’, also welcomed the proscription. Taiwo Kolawole, who operates around Olunloyo and Orita Aperin, Ibadan North East Local Government Area, said that the holiday given the NURTW officials was well deserved.
“At least the wahala (trouble) of buying tickets everywhere is over. We can now operate in an atmosphere of peace without harassment and intimidation. Our customers even enjoy free rides now better than when the union people would just stop us anywhere, anyhow. I pray this new system should continue,” he said excitedly.
Though from Sunday Telegraph’s investigations, transport fares still remains the same as before the proscription, commuters have been expressing feeling of relief and ease of getting to their destinations. They easily get cabs of their choice at bus stops. The unnecessary traffic jams that the union officials cause while collecting money from drivers in the middle of the road is no more.
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