Home Opinion Makinde’s Auxiliary Horror | Festus Adedayo

Makinde’s Auxiliary Horror | Festus Adedayo

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Anyone who lived in Oyo State at a time when members of the road transport union called the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) became law unto themselves, killing, maiming and making the state ungovernable, would applaud Governor Seyi Makinde for the recent Park Management initiative that was launched recently. We all remember the gory killing of factional chairman of the NURTW in the state, Alhaji Abdul Lateef Salako, also known as Elewe Omo, in the bid to neutralize one another. His blood-soaked picture became a poster of the festering violence of Oyo State for a very long time.

The park management initiative is said to be a policy which, according to the cliché, thought out of the box. Makinde appointed these managers who would superintend over the running of motor parks in all the 33 local councils of the state and thus harvest estimated billions of Naira said to be in the hands of motor union kingpins whose only entitlement to this revenue was their mastery of the instrument of violence. It is no hidden fact that these kingpins were buoyed in their outlawry by the unfunnelled cash in their hands, got from unilateral collection of fees, while successive state governments went on a junket of looking the other way.

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However, the Makinde government hit its foot against the stone by its inclusion in the list of the managers the name of Lamidi Mukaila, a notorious outlaw who had recently been released from jail after serving out term for violence. He goes by the sobriquet, Auxiliary. By this decision, the Oyo government had harvested all the enemies of Auxiliary planted in the state and beyond from his years of outlawry. More importantly, while trying to build a name as a government that is on the path of rectitude, Oyo government shouldn’t be seen as walking on the path of same old politics of pandering to whims of uneducated and notorious leeches. These are people who have over the decades profited from the years of divisive politics by government runners.

To my mind, it is very puerile to argue that because Auxiliary had become “born again,” a la its theorists, society had forgiven his past criminalities. The law might have, having returned from jail, but those he allegedly violated cannot. This mindset finds a corollary in the minds of Senator Ibrahim Gaidam who claimed that Boko Haram terrorists should be rehabilitated and sent abroad with tax-payers’ money, simply because they had repented. We do not operate a theocracy here and every hand that offends, by the tenets of our law, should be made to face the music. Society may forgive them but they should not forget.

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