Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Sunday, reconciled members of the Park Management System (PMS) and some factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, (NURTW) operating in the State.
The governor, while speaking at a reconciliation meeting held at his Ikolaba residence where some members of the proscribed NURTW, led by Alhaji Bola Ajisafe, voluntarily joined the PMS, charged members of the drivers’ unions to shun violence and bloodshed.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa quoted the governor as saying that the development marks the beginning of a new dawn in the transportation sector of the State.
He maintained that his administration decided to establish PMS to further integrate the resources of the state, adding that whatever resources generated in the state must be for the benefit of the people.
He added that the economy of the state is improving tremendously and he is ready to accommodate anybody willing to play a positive role.
The statement also quoted the governor as admonishing stakeholders in the Transportation sector to be law-abiding in their businesses. The governor recounted various assistance he had rendered to the Office of the then NURTW, adding that the era of chaotic transition of power within the fold of Transporters in the state has gone forever.
He, however, sued for peaceful coexistence among their members and their leaders.
The Governor said: “I want to appreciate everyone here today. To be frank with us, we don’t need the bloodshed in our dealings in politics and I am happy that we are attentive to listen to me.
“Of course, I know few things about unionism.
“When I was campaigning in 2019, the brown bus behind us was one of the buses we used. If you access it, you will see some points where they were damaged with bullets when I was campaigning at Ojoo one night that year. But we are beyond that now. I did not hold anybody responsible because I understood the situation on the ground then, but must it continue like that? No. We must come together. What do we want?
We should be after the good of everyone, and take care of our children but not engage in what can cause chaos among ourselves.
“Meanwhile, the politicians you are fighting on behalf always meet secretly to have friendly talks among themselves. So, we must move away from that.
“Oyo is a Pacesetter state and I will tell you the reason. When we came on board, we had to come up with PMS and I stood for a restructured Nigeria. I felt the regional government was more beneficial than federalism.
All the development we had during regional government was in the 50s. “Where in Nigeria can we compare with Dugbe, which is our business district? We are just now starting from scratch.
“Why did we come up with the PMS initiative? When it used to be NURTW, you guys will be working seriously and fighting with yourselves here while some who are in Abuja will be getting all the money you are making here.
“Yes, that was the major reason. Let us take charge of our economy. “Whatever we are generating should stay with us here. “We cannot continue to allow those at the federal continue to enslave us.
“Fundamentally, we need to be controlling our resources here because we have the control.
“And this is not the first time Oyo State will be at the forefront of a case like this. In the 70s, FRSC started here. “When they saw the way it was organized and yielding good results, it was adopted at the federal level.
“Now, I want you to write this down again – Federal Government will adopt PMS, and it will be on record that it started in Oyo State.
“Finally, what we are thinking is not enough will soon be more than adequate. “Every sector must have a slice of the growth including the transportation sector you are operating in. And the growth in the transportation sector should even be phenomenal if people are buying into it.
“We are investing a lot of money in our bus terminals because we know Ibadan is a nodal city.
“And if we want to organize ourselves, we have to take care of the sector. When we have more people passing through the terminals, it means it will generate even more money.
“If you generate N1,000, and you share it among 20 people, it means each person will take N50. We can quadruple what is passing through the transportation sector. A lot of hotels are springing up here in Ibadan and this means we are pushing towards a 24-hour economy.
“We are doing light-up so that people can engage in one business or the other at night.
“So, as your Boss said, another meeting will be convened to accommodate everybody.
“Let me say it once again that there is no political ambition of any politician that warrants bloodshed. It is not worth it. For three years, I never slept inside the Government House not even for a day because I felt I can still be in my house, which is closer to the Government House, and still do whatever I have to do for the people of Oyo State.
“So, I want to urge us to be united. The economy is moving and can accommodate every one of us.
“Your children too shall be great in life, I pray. I don t want a single loss of life at our garages anymore. By my recollection, we made it happen for the first time, there will be a switch in government and no one got killed. Since I have been following the NURTW history in the state and what we have done today will set a new standard and new record in Oyo State.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the state Commander Amotekun Corps, Col. Olayinka Olayanju Rtd, said the state would soon inaugurate a disciplinary committee that would deal decisively with any member of the Transport unions that disturb the peace of Oyo state.
In their various reactions, the Chairman of the State Park Management System, Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, and the Leader of the NURTW, Alhaji Bola Ajisafe, agreed to work together in peace and harmony in PMS for the progress of the state.
Also in attendance at the event was the Executive Assistant to Governor on Security Matters, retired CP, Sunday Odukoya.
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