By Uche Amunike
The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), based in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa state have warned the union’s factional leader, Tajudeen Agbede, to vacate its national Secretariat or otherwise, be ready to be confronted by them.
Speaking, through a statement co-signed by Ibrahim Kuje and Saliu Adamu, the chairmen of the unions branches in the FCT and Nasarawa state, respectively, the union added that they would no longer remain silent while the factional leader’s group continues to occupy and take over its national secretariat.
They also, both pleaded with the Nigerian Police Force and other security agents to caution Agbede in order to prevent an impending carnage.
Recall that in August 2023, a caretaker committee was formed at a parallel delegates conference of the NURTW in Abuja, where Agbede was nominated as acting president, after it was declared that the Tajudeen Baruwa-led executive had been dissolved, as they had come to the end of their tenure.
Another parallel delegates conference was held in Lafia, Nasarawa State, where Baruwa was elected for a second term, two days before his removal. The statement noted: ‘We are warning Agbede and his gang of alleged hired thugs to vacate the national headquarters of the union or prepare for a showdown.’
‘The entire leadership and membership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers were jolted by the commando style of attack unleashed on the headquarters of the union by alleged hired thugs from Lagos and Ilorin on Monday 28th August 2023, wherein Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede was illegally installed as caretaker President of the union, in place of a legitimate elected President in the person of Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa.’
‘Toppling of an elected trade union President is similar to a coup d’etat and should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians and members of the union. The Constitution of the union frowns seriously against the use of any means other than that as prescribed by the constitution to effect a change in any organ of the Union.’
‘Given the foregoing, the officers and members of the union in the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa State have unanimously resolved that they will not fold their hands and watch impostors continue to occupy the National Headquarters of the union in FCT.’
The statement further explained that they had refused to launch a counterattack, with the hope that common sense would prevail them to leave the union’s offices in order to allow the legitimate president to take over. They therefore sounded a note of warning to the former president of the union, Naseem Yasin, who allegedly led the group, to tread with caution and stop any act of illegality that is aimed at destabilizing the NURTW, from where he has benefited more than any of the past leaders.
It also argued that Yasin had allegedly used the police to harass and intimidate them, while claiming that the Inspector General of Police is a personal friend and brother. He advised him to desist from such acts henceforth, because the NURTW is not a business owned by the former president of the union who had already finished his duties as president and should therefore, give the current president some breathing space.