The National Union Transport Workers (NURTW) has bridged the gap between road transporters and commuters since its inception in 1920.
Having taken over the operation of road haulage, NURTW has evolved many times in history, spreading its tentacles throughout the Federation and having its branches in every state of the nation.
Activities of NURTW, some of which include forceful and somewhat unlawful collection of money from bus drivers and other road users, have painted the group bad.
Having legal structure upon which they hide their heinous activities, the union has become a menace in the society, causing unnecessary disruption and sometimes allowing traffic just so they could be able to perpetuate their acts.
With this unruly acts that are now prevalent amongst its members and sometimes leaders of the union, the newly elected Oyo state Governor, Oluwaseyi Abiodun Makinde on the 31st of May 2019, according to report by PUNCH News, banned the National Union Of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and takes over the road transportation system in the state.
This decision was reached after alleged security breaches and factional clashes between members of the union during the week in some areas in Ibadan, the state capital.
The state Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Olugbenga Fadeyi said on the 29th and 30th of May 2019, that six NURTW miscreant had been arrested for disturbances in the motor park.
According to a report by ThisDay, the Chief Of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde, Chief Bisi Ilaka disclosed the decision reached by the Governor after a security meeting with service men of the state.
“While appreciating the good people of Oyo State for their steadfastness overtime and support for this administration, we stand on the need to maintain peace and tranquillity in the state in order to engender commercial and human development. After today’s deliberation involving security chiefs and the governor, we have resolved to proscribe the NURTW in this state until further notice.”
With these apt decision reached by the Oyo state government, upon the ‘ragamuffin’ actions of the members of the transport union, could it be safe to say that the new administration under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state might also take a cue and silence the two most notable NURTW leaders, MC Oluomo and Kunle Poly, in the state?
In the cosmopolitan state, though with the smallest land mass, Eko city is also credited with the highest number of a registered vehicle in the nation, which is terribly affecting the free and smooth flow of goods and people transportation.
Living in Lagos, yellow buses would no more be strange to you, as good as they are they have also sometimes affected commuters easy movement and then the institution that bore them, NURTW, has not been helpful in the situation.
Like its counterpart in Ibadan, NURTW members and leaders have not made transportation easy in Lagos, rather they have almost always engaged in lousy activities, perpetrating thuggery and inconveniencing the intended easy movement of people and goods on the road.
Among the activities of the NURTW that is unacceptable in a sane society is the allowance of an increased rate of bus fares at will by public bus drivers, especially during the raining season.
Whenever there’s outpour in Lagos, commuters, without doubts, suffer inflation in bus fares.
In addition, leaders of the union may have also helped in encouraging thuggery of its member, as MC Oluomo and Kunle Poly have been the most recognised and feared leaders of the NURTW in Lagos are known to be life long enemies who clashed on several occasion all with the lustful desire for power and supremacy in the union.
Of all its gangster acts is the breeding of touts or ‘Omotá’, a Yoruba word which means “Son of the street’. The street of Lagos has become a den to these people who have no respect for courtesy or human life, as they act under the influence of drugs they take before hitting the street.
Some of these touts become a political instrument used to pervert, rig and manipulate elections and electoral process in order to secure victory for themselves.
With the itinerary of road hooliganism caused and perpetrated by this union hiding its facade under the umbrella of NURTW, the Lagos state government should take necessary action to curb the furtherance of their assault and thuggery.
If need be, the Lagos state government should take over the transport system to retain the sanity and face of the cosmopolitan city as the centre of excellence.
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