The Ogun State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers has passed a vote of confidence on its leadership, just as it accused the State House of Assembly of blackmail.
Members of the union gave a clean bill of health to their Chairman, Akeem Adeosun, at a meeting held at the union secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Monday.
The leadership of the union had been engaged in a face-off with the lawmakers, who it accused of plotting to impose a chairman on its Ago-Iwoye branch.
Following an altercation between Mr. Adeosun and the lawmakers on the floor of the Assembly recently, the legislators petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, and the Director General of the State Security Service, Lawal Daura, alleging that the union leader was threatening their lives.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting, the union said the assembly was only trying to malign the character of its leadership because of it refused to allow the lawmakers impose a member believed to be loyalist of one of them, as the chairman of its Ago-Iwoye chapter.
The union also said in the communiqué signed by its vice chairman, Yusuf Bamgbola, that the assembly had no right to choose its leaders for them and that it was against their constitution.
It said, “We want to state unequivocally that Ogun State House of Assembly members are trying to cause breach of peace in the state as one of them Hon Dare Kaddir from Ifelodun constituency Ijebu North Local Government went to the motor park to raise up the hand of one Ibrahim Quadri a member of the union loyal to him as the branch chairman of chairman of Ago-Iwoye, which over 100 members kicked against.
“We take exception to attempt by any external body that wants to cause disaffection amongst members of the union. The leadership of the union and members in all the branches in the state has implicit confidence in the leadership of Alhaji Akeem Adeosun aka Jango and hereby pass vote of confidence on him throughout his remaining tenure”
The union, which called on the lawmakers to have a rethink over their action, described Mr. Adeosun as “God-fearing and easy going.”
It reminded the lawmakers of the meaningful contribution of its members to their election into the legislature and warned them (lawmakers) not to repay them by blackmailing them.
“The lawmakers have forgotten the roles NUTRW played towards their emergence,” the union said.
“They are now misusing their power and blackmailing our leader. They appeared to be ingrates. The lawmakers should realised that we belong to the masses, We are not thugs and respect should be reciprocal.”
It also said its members had confidence in the leadership, pointing out that the supremacy of its constitution was enshrined in Article 7a and 44(2), which explain that it should be deemed to be the basis of contract between the members to establish and operate the union.
The union noted that apart from its constitution, the Trade Union Amendment Act No, 2 of 1996 and Trade Union Act Cap T14 of 2005, had made it the supreme matrix of trade union actions.
It said, “If therefore, we must succeed, we must abide by the provision of the union constitution, as well as that of the trade union acts,” the union said adding that the meeting the lawmakers held with its members portrayed their high level of bias and malicious intent to employ the divide and rule method.
“It was to our utmost surprise therefore when the House resorted to blackmailing our state chairman, Alhaji Akeem Adeosun, that he was constituting a threat to the peace of the state.”
Reacting to the allegation by the union of blackmailing its leadership, the Assembly said the union was not sincere with their claim, stating that a kangaroo election was conducted on the order of the chairman.
The Chairman of House of Assembly Committee on Transport, Israel Jolaoso, told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Adeosun was threatening the lives of the lawmakers because he was prevented from engaging in illegality.
He said the petition was written against Mr. Adeosun for allegedly attempting to impose one Funmilayo as the chairman of the Ago-Iwoye branch of the union and that the chairmanship candidate (Funmilayo) was found not qualified having already spent two terms of eight years in that position.
Mr. Jolaoso said Funmilayo had earlier served as caretaker chairman for three years and thereafter spent eight years as substantive chairman, hence the chapter became factionalised.
The lawmaker explained that it was the reason the legislature invited the two factions to find a way out.
He regretted that rather than Mr. Adeosun adhering to path of honour, he was threatening to assassinate lawmakers.
The committee chairman said following Mr. Adeosun’s threat, the lawmakers petitioned the IGP and the DG of SSS.
He said, “We should not fold our arms, his threat may come to reality. He threatened all of us at the floor of the Assembly and we passed a resolution at the floor of the House of Assembly to report to the Inspector General of Police and Director of State Security Services. The insult coming from him to the Assembly is becoming too much.”
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