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Osun: Pandemonium as transport union fights over control of park

There was crisis in Osogbo, Osun state capital, Tuesday, as factions of Osun Transport Management System (OSTMS) fought over control of the park at the Ilesa garage.

The supremacy battle caused unrest in Ayepe, Sadiat, Ilesa garage and Fadilulahi area as residents and traders ran for safety while sporadic shooting went on between the two factions.

Blueprint gathered that a faction led by Wasiu Arogundade temporarily seized the state secretariat for few hours after which the dominant group mobilised to take back the office with the exchange of gunshots.

The security operatives, including police, DSS, Amotekun and vigilante groups were mobilised to the area to maintain peace and order.

Speaking with journalists during a peaceful protest at the Olaiya area, Wasiu Arogundade, Deputy Chairman, Operations, accused the OSTMS Chairman, Nurudeen Wakili, popularly known as ‘Alowonle’, of extortion and high handedness.

He said, “Alowonle used the name of Governor Ademola Adeleke and his elder sister, Yeye Dupe Adeleke-Sanni to extort us. During the burial of Yeye Dupe’s husband, we contributed N1.6 million and during the Governor’s chieftaincy title, he collected N150,000 from each branch.

“He bullied members whenever we advised him on union issues. Besides, he does not remit ticket sales to the government appropriately. He only remitted N150 million out of the N600 million given to us so far. For these reasons, we want him replaced as we have lost confidence in his leadership.” 

But, Wakili, who was being treated for several cutlass wounds, disclosed that the allegations against him were lies saying the aggrieved group were dissatisfied with his refusal to return the transport management system to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), where they owed allegiance.

He said, “It is simply impossible to collect money for Yeye Dupe’s husband’s burial or Governor Adeleke’s chieftaincy conferment when they were not members of the transport union. They should disclose who collected the money from the branches. Branch chairmen are still alive they can speak about it as well. If they were protesting those issues, why the attack on me? They attempted to kill me and we handed over one of those who attacked me to the police for investigation.

“Their claim is simply an attempt to bring back NURTW with a view to antagonising the Adeleke’s administration in the state.” 

The union Secretary, Mukaila Popoola, alleged that some of the aggrieved members led hoodlums to burgle the secretariat and carted away a cash sum of N6 million kept for the salary of branch chairmen while environment ticket worth N450,000 was also looted during the attack.

“If they were protesting sincerely, why burgle our Secretariat and carted away N6 million in cash and ticket worth N450,000? Besides, how can a state government release a ticket worth N600 million to us and not complain if we siphon the expected return?

“In actual sense, Arogundade was the one going around branches to extort members and was suspended for his actions. He was recently pardoned following the intervention of the chairman for the sake of peace.

“One of the hoodlums who attacked the chairman was arrested and handed over to the police and we have also lodged an official complaint against those who invaded the Secretariat,” Popoola said. 

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