The National Union of Road Transport Workers NURTW is known for thuggery. The urge is to ask; are there good men in the NURTW? Certainly there are good men, but the violent elements within the union define its workings.
Oyo state has suffered the menace of the union. The state has been disturbed by union members using dangerous weapons on their victims, sometimes with the bold support of the ruling class.
In recent time, following the overwhelming victory of Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in the recent 2019 gubernatorial election, factions of the union that did not enjoy the patronage of the All Progressives Congress APC began reconciliation moves in preparation to run the affairs of the union.
It is this ambition that drove Mukaila Lamidi known as Auxiliary to visit his boss or former boss, Lateef Akinsola also known as Tokyo. The resurgence of Auxiliary on the scene despite recently coming out of prison explains the crucial role the NURTW plays in the politics of Oyo State.
You may call them thugs, but they are stakeholders. They are involved in the planning and execution of certain actions that give victory to a winning party at any time. They are ingrained in the system and are sure of their share.
Who is a political thug?
Is it the boy or man that carries out physical violent for the sake of politics or the man that conceptualizes violent as an instrument of politics?
If the second consideration is analyzed, it is clear that the violence that defines our politics is first the “genius” of the political godfather who deploys the resources. If the boy on the street wielding a gun is a thug, then the leading thug is the godfather who oversees the action. It is now left to you to give me examples of leading political thugs.
However, as Seyi Makinde’s time unravels, questions will be asked of his disposition to the consolidation of the violence of the NURTW.
Will Tokyo and Auxiliary bounce back to their formal methods?
How will Makinde explain the relationship between Ajimobi’s government and the union?
Is Makinde going to instigate a leadership crisis in the union and take the state to the past or will he work to see that as a union, the NURTW is made to show responsibility in its methods and values, graduating to a body that operates above the pedestrian level that defines its operations?
As May 29th comes for Seyi Makinde to take over from Ajimobi, the people wait to witness the manner he handles the NURTW. Having captured the antecedent of union’s leadership, I wait to narrate the story of Seyi Makinde’s time
Obilo, a celebrated journalist and broadcaster, anchors State Affairs on Splash 105.5 FM, Ibadan.