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Restore Democratically Elected NURTW, Not ‘Park Thugs’, Oyo SPN Tells Makinde

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Oyo State Chapter of the  Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN,  on Thursday urged the Seyi Makinde led government to restore the state’s  NURTW and its democratization under the control of elected representatives of registered commercial drivers, operators of motorcycles and tricycles not ‘park thugs’.

SPN condemned the decision of Governor Makinde  to impose and force on mass of poor but struggling commercial drivers and operators of motorcycles and tricycles in the state a newly established park management system, PMS and appointed park managers for the control and management of parks, and quarries across the state.

In a press release signed by its Secretary, Ayodeji Adigun, the party described the governor’s   decision as unlawful, stressing that it contravenes section 7(5) of the Fourth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

SPN scribe said, “According to this section, the control of the parks, markets, and abattoirs is stipulated to be the constitutional responsibility of the Local Government Council and not of the state government. It is only expected of the state government through the state house of assembly to enact a law that will enable the local government to effectively perform and carry out the stipulated function”.

In a related development,  the party faulted  the appointment of Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi as the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the PMS and some others describing them as ‘ known park thugs with proven records of criminal and violent activities’ . It added that their appointments as park managers clearly show that, the PMS in itself is a dubious agenda to return through the back door, the control and management of the motor parks, to the section of the park thugs that are loyal to the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government.

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The statement  reads, ” Under this kind of arrangement one does not need to be a soothsayer to know that the exploitation, harassment including intimidation often suffered by mass of poor commercial drivers and operators of motorcycles and tricycles under the banned park thugs controlled NURTW will not only continue but deepen in multiple folds especially now that the PMS arrangement has provided an official and legitimate basis for the exploitation and extortion of poor road transport workers.

“SPN frown against the continuous proscription of NURTW. It is illegal and undemocratic.  We therefore demand the return of the NURTW that is democratically controlled by transport workers (registered commercial drivers and operators of bicycle and tricycle across the state) with guaranteed right to freedom of association and election of leadership devoid of imposition, force, violence and thuggery.

“While we recognize that the operation of the banned NURTW under the control and management of the park thugs is condemnable in all ramification, we do not believe that dastardly and criminal acts of a few known park thugs should be a strong reason to continue to deny other willing law abiding commercial drivers and operators of tricycles and motorcycles their fundamental right to association and peace assembly for an adequate defense and protection of both their economic and political rights.

“NURTW like other trade union organizations like NUT, NULGE is a registered union by the law and intended to be a union for interested road transport workers for the defense and protection of their interest.  As it is obtainable in other trade unions, members are meant to pay dues and democratically direct the affairs of the union through popular participation such as meetings, congresses etc. Proceeds realized from such dues are meant to be subjected to democratic and open administration of members through the co-ordination of their elected representatives strictly for the purpose of achieving the goal of the union.

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“Neither is the proceeds realized from the dues paid by road workers meant for the advancement of the self-serving interest of the few individuals as we used to have it under the proscribed thugs controlled NURTW nor a means of generating revenues for the government as being proposed by Engr seyi Makinde-led government that will be largely stolen by the privileged few.

“SPN rejects the argument by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government that the range of levies planned to be imposed on poor commercial drivers and operators of motorcycle and tricycles are meant to boast the IGR of the state. If the transport operators are to be charged levies, such policy will have to be discussed with local government authorities and the transport operators with the aim of arriving at a levy/tax that is progressive and affordable, and such revenue generated are to be democratically transparently managed by government and transport operators for the purpose of developing the state and not to enrich the privileged few. We also demand that all big business owners and billionaires in the state many of who are currently enjoying tax holiday must be progressively taxed in order to raise some fund to finance public utilities.

“The SPN therefore charges the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government that if truly it is interested to curb the usual violent activities that often associated with NUTRW, the solution is neither by the proscription of the union nor the establishment of unlawful management system but to severe its relationship with park thugs with known criminal and violent records in the state with a view to arrest them and prosecute them in accordance with the law”, its continued.

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Adigun, however  called on the state leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to initiate discussion with the state government with a motive to request all necessary logistics including provision of security that will be needed to convene a congress of all legitimate road workers in the state to democratically elect a new leadership for the union as a step to begin to reconstitute the union in the state.

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Covid-19: Save UCH now, Oyo NUJ appeals to Buhari

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State council on Sunday appealed to the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to save the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and provide it with enough funding to cater for the ravaging Coronavirus otherwise known as Covid-19.

The Union also frowned at recent development at the foremost teaching hospital in Nigeria, with confirmed four cases from its board and management.

In a release/tweet released by the CMD of the Hospital, Prof. Abiodun Otegbayo, he explained how he contracted the virus and tested positive for Covid-19.

The hospital management also confirmed that the Provost college of Medicine and his deputy also tested positive.

The fourth is the chairman of the board who had allegedly tested positive for the virus.

The NUJ in a press statement by its Chairman, Comrade Ademola Babalola  and Secretary,  Sola Oladapo wondered why due diligence was not done to ascertain the condition of all attendees at the meeting?

The Union also expressed concern on why the meeting had to hold despite the ongoing efforts to control Covid-19 spread in the state?

According to the NUJ, the CMD despite his knowledge of his exposure to a suspected case still went ahead granting interviews to journalists without warning them of his vulnerability.

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The union viewed this act “as irresponsible and avoidable.”

The NUJ has therefore called on the Federal Government to stop paying lip service to the hospital.

It tasked the government to devise means of specially funding the UCH to prepare adequately for this pandemic.

“The reason to call for better funding of the UCH stemmed from the recent statement of the CMD, soliciting for funds from well meaning Nigerians to help the hospital with consumables and other medical necessities to fight the virus.

“The Federal Government must act very fast before things snowball out of control,” NUJ warned.

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COVID-19: ‘Stop all physical interviews’, Oyo NUJ warns members

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo state council on Sunday warned members to stop all physical interviews to prevent being infected by corona virus (COVID-19).

This is contained in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr Ademola Babalola and Secretary, Mr Sola Oladapo, and made available to newsmen in Ibadan.

The union also  warned members to be cautious in performing their roles as essential service providers, saying the extent at which the virus was spreading is very alarming.

“Truly, our services are very essential at this period when the world is ravaged by Corona Virus (COVID-19). The public look on to us for information on this global pandemics.

“Our job leaves us more exposed to the ravaging virus. The rate at which this virus is spreading has become very alarming and it is no respecta of anyone.

“As journalists, we must be very careful of how we carry out our duties without being infected,” it said.

The Union, however lauded  members for their services at this trying period, praying that God would continue to protect them from all forms of infections.

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Photos: Oyo COVID-19 squad impounds 22 vehicles at club houses

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Oyo State COVID-19 Security and Enforcement sub-committee has impounded a total of Twenty-Two (22) illegally parked vehicles during its special night operations, to enforce compliance at club houses and public places in Ibadan.

Addressing the team of officers before the operation, the Chairman, OYRTMA, Mogaji Akin Fagbemi, who distributed protective tools to the officers such as hand gloves, portable sanitizers, nose masks and thermometers charged them to be professional in the exercise and respect fundamental human rights in the course of the operation.

He said, “The Oyo State COVID-19 Security and Enforcement subcommittee is made up of Oyo State Road Transport Management Agency and other security agencies and we have begun a special night monitoring and enforcement of Oyo State Government’s directive aimed at curbing the spread of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) among residents of the State, particularly through transport operators, night clubs and other public places”.


It would be recalled that Oyo State has recorded more confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 which led to a directive of a dusk to dawn curfew (7pm to 6am) and suspension of interstate transportation into and out of the State with effect from Sunday night ,March 29th, 2020  by Governor Seyi Makinde.

Governor Seyi Makinde also gave a directive that no public place or gathering should harbour above 10 persons at a time.

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Dispersing cluster of persons that formed crowd of more than 10 at club houses, the Special anti-COVID-19 squad gave sufficient information on the need for residents to comply with the State Government’s directives on social distancing, regular washing of hands and other guidelines.
Club houses the enforcement team visited included Platinum, Awolowo Road; Hexagon, Samonda; Pleasure Summit, GRA; Cimola Hotel, Mokola; Latitude, Samonda; Mauve 21, Ring Road; Ventura, Sango and Shanty’s club among others across the State.


Likewise, the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) has deployed over 200 men and officers to join the COVID-19 Taskforce Health Advisory Sub-committee to embark on public enlightenment at markets and public places within Ibadan for a campaign tagged: ‘break in the chain of transmission campaign on COVID-19’.

 

Residents who claimed ignorance of the anti-coronavirus guidelines issued by the State Government, however pledged to become vanguards and ambassadors against the spread of the deadly virus.

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