Kwara state branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) yesterday cautioned the national body under their chairman Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa against imposition of a chairman on its union in the state.
The union made their stand know while inaugurating the newly elected executive headed by the chairman Alhaji AbdulRasaq Ariwoola, alias ‘Ariwo’ to pilot the affairs of the union for the next four years, inauguration was held at the state secretariat, along Airport road, Ilorin.
Alhaji Ariwoola is succeeding Alhaji Isa Ore, who is now the state Chairman of theNigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
Before the inauguration of the new executives, the state Secretary of the union Mr. Nurudeen Opoola informed the gathering of the intention of national secretariat to send caretaker committee members to run the affairs of the union pending the election of another executives of its choice.
It was gathered that 16 out of the new executive members emerged through consensus arrangement, while the chairman and his vice emerged through balloting in the presence of major stakeholders and representatives of the state government.
But a fellow contestant for the position of the chairman, Mr Musbau Salahudeen, alias ‘Fuji’ who had initially congratulated the new chairman who emerged through open election, Alhaji AbdulRasaq Ariwolola, was to the surprise of many members, suddenly changed his mind and went to one radio station in the state and rejected the election he had initially applauded.
Meanwhile, almost all the members of the union at the state kicked against the sudden changed of mind, having suspected that the Nation President of the union Tajudeen Baruwa is backing him to be new chairman and came up with idea of caretaker committee for the state to perfect his permutation.
However, Chorusing their support for the Ariwoola led executives, representatives of the union from Kwara South, North and Central criticized Abuja for attempting to ‘impose’ a caretaker on the union in the state.
In his remark, Babatunde Ologele, Sawmill branch of the union (Kwara central) said all of them are solidly behind the new executives, adding that “we are against imposition of any caretaker chairman.”Another speaker Adeyeye Giwa (Kwara South) urged the state government to rein it on the national secretariat not to appoint caretaker on the union.
“There is no crisis in the state. We are peace-loving people in Kwara state, therefore, there is no need for any caretaker here,” Mr. Giwa added.
Also speaking, Muhammadu Baba (Kwara North) said the planned imposition of caretaker committee on NURTW in the state is uncalled for, adding that the emergence of the chairman was devoid of acrimony and rancor.
Commenting, representative of Association of Okada Riders in the state, Saheed Ayinla attributed the new executives emergence to the will of God.
In his remarks, Alhaji Ariwoola promised not to discriminate against anybody in the discharge of his duties.
He added that his emergence as the state chairman of the union is God ordained, appealing to the national secretariat of the union to appease to aggrieved members of the union.
Said he: “Today is a special day in the history of NURTW because we have not allowed imposition of candidates by the National President Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa. You are all aware that I emerged the winner through balloting as it was done for Alhaji Baruwa.
“I see no reason why he must reject the process through which he emerged. I appeal to the president to allow the wish of the people prevail to maintain the footsteps of his predecessor Alhaji Usman Yasin. He should allow peace to reign in the union.”
He urged members of the union to give their support to the state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the dividends of democracy to go round. He promised that “the union under my leadership will not do anything that will tamper with the existing peace in the state.”