Monday, April 15, 2024

Unrest in Osun as factional NURTW members clash over control of motor parks

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

Osogbo, the capital of Osun State has been embroiled in pandemonium as some fractional members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers stormed some motor parks to sack their executive members and take control.

The hoodlums beseiged the Old Garage to take over the control of the motor park from Kazeem Oyewale (aka Asiri Eniba) on Monday morning.

Armed with guns, clubs and other dangerous weapons, the hoodlums arrived the park around 7am on Monday and chased passengers and drivers away.

Shortly after the swearing-in of Ademola Adeleke as the governor of the state on Sunday, it was gathered that rampaging motor unionists, who claimed that the chairman of the park is a loyalist of the All Progressives Congress, said the tenure of Adegboyega Oyetola had ended and thus the park chairmen must go.

The attackers claimed that they are supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party that just took over governance in the state and therefore would want to exercise some authority on those who are not within the ruling political party.

During the fracas, the hoodlums shot indiscriminately into the air to scare passengers who were at the parks to board vehicles and equally chased away the union officials at the parks.

Another set of the NURTW hoodlums also launched attack at Oke-Baale, Ilesa Garage, Aregbe and Olaiya Ojuirin Garage attacking members of transport unions at the parks.

The car of one of the union members who escaped with matchet cut wounds was set on fire in the midst of the road at Ayetoro area of Osogbo.

Owing to the violent incidents, shops around the affected areas were immediately closed, while passersby and travellers scampered for safety.

Few hours later, some other group of transporters came together with arms and stormed the state secretariat of the union at Sadiat area of Osogbo and turned the place into a theatre of war.

They were said to have inflicted injuries on the state Financial Secretary of the union, Sunday Akinwale, with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons while a pregnant woman working in the union secretariat, simply identified as Doyin was stripped naked and got her cloth torn.

It was also gathered that the windscreen of Akinwale’s Toyota Sienna was reportedly broken and vandalised beyond repairs by the hoodlums. Similarly, the secretary of the union, Osundiya Akinsola, narrowly escaped being killed as he was rescued from the secretariat.

It was gathered that it took the prompt intervention of the security operatives before peace was given a chance. After much persuasion, those earlier locked in the secretariat were let out and chased away.

Meanwhile, APC in the state alleged that over 500 of its members have been attacked in the incidents and a number of properties had been destroyed including APC campaign vehicles, billboards particularly in Osogbo, the state capital.

In a statement by its acting state chairman, Tajudeen Lawal, the APC said the return of PDP into governance in Osun has marked the continuation of brigandage and political siege of yesteryears.

The opposition party, then, called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Akali Baba Usman to urgently intervene in the ugly security situation in the state.

Reacting, Governor Ademola Adeleke, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, directed union leaders to maintain peace across parks, warning against violence.

The statement reads, “Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke has warned against violence among transport workers’ unions in the State, directing security agencies to maintain status quo across the motor parks.

“All union leaders and their supporters are hereby directed to remain calm and bring any grievances to the State Government for resolution. Security agencies are consequently directly to maintain law and order,” it added.

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