INVESTIGATION: Unraveling the PMS-NURTW Crisis in Ibadan

INVESTIGATION: Unraveling the PMS-NURTW Crisis in Ibadan

For over two tumultuous days following the dissolution of the Oyo State Park Manager System (PMS), peace has eluded the state as reports emerged of violent attacks orchestrated by the PMS Chairman, Mr. Mukaila Lamidi, popularly known as Auxiliary. These attacks were reportedly triggered by the suspension of the park committee by the state Governor, Seyi Makinde.

Genesis of the Crisis

On the 29th of May, 2023, Governor Seyi Makinde sent shockwaves through the state when he announced the indefinite suspension of the committee, thereby igniting a fiery response from its members.

Reasons Behind the Suspension on May 29th

In an effort to uncover the rationale behind the governor’s decision, i-News Nigeria initiated an investigation. The findings unveiled that Governor Makinde’s action was a direct response to the conduct of PMS Chairman Mukaila Lamidi, also known as Auxiliary.

According to the investigation, immediately after the state gubernatorial election, Governor Makinde called for a reconciliation meeting between the members of the NURTW and PMS. The governor sought to bring both factions together and reconcile their differences.

However, Auxiliary declined the invitation, asserting that he had no affiliation with the NURTW. Despite numerous attempts to secure his attendance at the meeting, all efforts proved futile.

Auxiliary-Led Faction Launches Attacks on NURTW Members

After the governor’s inauguration ceremony at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, enthusiastic members of the state NURTW accompanied the governor to his residence in Ikolaba. Tragically, these NURTW members were met with a violent attack, resulting in severe injuries.

Subsequent Attacks

After the assault at the governor’s residence, another wave of attacks ensued, causing further injuries and significant property damage.

A source, who shared details with i-News Nigeria reporters, revealed that the state police commissioner had to intervene to restore peace in the affected areas.

“The police officers were deployed to the scenes of violence in order to restore calm,” the source stated.

The source further disclosed that the police chief ordered the arrest of Auxiliary, the mastermind behind the violence. During the operation, when police officers were dispatched to the parks manager’s office, they were attacked. Consequently, a manhunt ensued, leading the police to Auxiliary’s prominent hotel in the state, resulting in the arrest of 78 individuals. Additionally, firearms, ammunition, phones, and 3.4 million in cash were seized, as confirmed by the police.

Governor Makinde, expressing his discontent with Auxiliary’s reckless behaviour, felt compelled to immediately suspend the PMS during his inauguration. The governor emphasized that Auxiliary posed a significant threat to the peace within the state.

“I have been directed by the Executive Governor of Oyo State, His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde, to inform you of the dissolution of the Disciplinary Committee of the Park Management System (PMS) with immediate effect starting from today, Monday, 29th May 2023,” the Chief of Staff, Honorable Segun Ogunwuyi, announced the dissolution of the Disciplinary Committee of the Park Management System (PMS) in a statement.

Members of NURTW [File:]

In a response sent to i-News Nigeria enquiry, an Ibadan-based editorial consultant, book publisher and public affairs analyst, Moruf Smith, reacted:

“NURTW/PMS crisis began in Oyo State when Governor Seyi Makinde, upon assuming office in 2019, inaugurated Park Management System to be headed by Mukaila Lamidi while the NURTW in the state was proscribed.

“There were factions at loggerheads in NURTW and Auxiliary was a leader of one of the factions and it was expected that Governor Makinde would reconciled all the factions so that they could work together.

“But having selected only Auxiliary faction to run the affairs of transport system in Oyo State, Governor Makinde added fuel to the lingering crisis.

“When Governor Makinde secured his second term in office, he saw the wisdom in reconciling other factions of NURTW with Auxiliary group and got them to run the affairs of the union together. But Auxiliary was not down with the move as he and his boys pounced on the members of NURTW who came to the inauguration event to swear in Governor Makinde, maiming and injuring them.

Victims of recent attack on NURTW workers in Ibadan [File:]
“This resulted in sacking the Auxiliary-led PMS by the Chief of Staff to Governor Makinde on the order of the governor. Also, Oyo State Police Command was said to have got intelligence that Auxiliary and his boys were planning to cause mayhem in the state because of their sacking.

“The police stormed Auxiliary’s residence and various dangerous weapons, including AK-47 and pumping machines were recovered.”

Musa Adeniyi who contested a seat in the state House of Assembly, under the umbrella of Labour Party, also expressed concerns about the ongoing crisis in the state.

“The Ajimobi administration arrested Mukaila Lamidi, popularly known as Auxiliary. The governor knew why the decision was taken,” Adeniyi told i-News Nigeria.

He added, “The rationale behind the release of Mukaila Lamidi was to use him for the election in the state by the Governor Makinde. Even the governor is confused was why to do about the Auxiliary because there reports that he is the brains behind the series of killings, kidnapping and violence in the state.

“Now, Seyi Makinde thinks the thing to do is to allow this to spend four years. After that he felt this is best time to dismantle the PMS cabinet.”

The OHA candidate stated that after the announcement of the dissolution, “Auxiliary started calling Seyi Makinde a person of ingratitude, a statement that infuriated the governor.

Some of the ammunition allegedly recovered from Auxiliary [File:]
“Thank God the police have restored peace in the state. DDS officials have been drafted to Auxiliary’s Diamond Hotel, where he allegedly hides his weapons.”

Proscription of Oyo State NURTW

On May 31, 2019, the Oyo state government made an announcement indefinitely proscribing the state’s National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Following the proscription, on February 17, 2020, the state government appointed park managers in all 33 local government areas of the state.

These park managers were tasked with overseeing the parks and collecting revenue on behalf of the government.

Mukaila Lamidi a.k.a Auxiliary [File:]
The decision of the government faced opposition from Alhaji Olajide Ejiogbe, the Chairman of the state NURTW, and other union members. They appealed to the state governor, claiming that the park managers had expelled all NURTW members from the parks and sent warnings to vacate the union’s building in Aduloju area of Ibadan, the state capital.

Ejiogbe expressed confusion over the expanded role of the park managers, stating that they were initially established solely for revenue collection purposes. However, they had taken over the control of motor parks, revenue collection, appointment of officers, and operation of the union’s offices at the parks.

Ejiogbe argued that the court ruled in favour of suspending the union, not completely proscribing it.

“When the park managers were inaugurated, Auxiliary [a prominent figure] drove away all our vehicles from the motor parks. We were surprised why the park managers were established only to chase away union members. It has been three years, and we can no longer remain silent.

“The government claimed that the park managers were solely for revenue collection. However, they have assumed the duties of the union, controlling motor parks, and appointing officers. Auxiliary has appointed officers at the parks.

“The court stated that we were suspended, not proscribed,” Ejiogbe explained.

Violence Incited by Transport Workers in Ibadan

In 2021, Sahara Reporters reported a violent incident in the Oremeji-Agugu area of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. Members of the Motor Park System (PMS), also known as the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), were responsible for the killing of two individuals on Monday night. The crisis began when a member of the PMS killed a member of the NURTW, leading to a retaliatory killing.

According to a report in the Guardian, in 2022, a clash between suspected members of the Oyo State Park Management System (PMS) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) resulted in the death of three people and injuries to several others in the Aliwo area of Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State.

The violent confrontation caused extensive damage to property worth millions of naira.

The chaos erupted when alleged members of the PMS engaged the NURTW members, known as the Isota boys, in a gun battle around the Ali Iwo area and Agodi Gate axis of Ibadan.

Mr. Auwal Bala Shanono, the national president of the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NIMSA), tragically lost his life on 5 June during a violent altercation between factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Ibadan, Oyo State.

According to a report, Auwal, a fifth-year medical student at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, was returning from a national conference on preventing maternal mortality in Nigeria, held in Ile-Ife, Osun State. Disturbingly, Nigeria has been identified as a country where one out of nine global maternal deaths occur, as stated in UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2009.

While waiting to board a night bus to Kaduna at Iwo Road in Ibadan, Auwal and four other innocent students became victims of a mindless brawl. This clash erupted between rival factions of the NURTW, each vying for control over public motor parks in the city. Tragically, Auwal was shot and suffered severe burns, rendering him unrecognizable. Fortunately, the remaining four students narrowly escaped the same fate.

On 8 June, Auwal’s remains were laid to rest at the Unguwar Kanawa Muslim cemetery in Kaduna. The burial ceremony drew hundreds of grief-stricken family members, relatives, neighbors, friends, and fellow classmates who bid their tearful farewells.

These cited cases represent just a fraction of the numerous atrocities committed by the troublemakers in Oyo State, particularly in Ibadan. It is imperative for Governor Seyi Makinde to take decisive action to swiftly eradicate this violence and prevent the state from gaining a notorious reputation. By ensuring the safety of residents, we can attract investors and avoid the risks associated with a crisis-prone and volatile zone like Ibadan.

Akeem Alao

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