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NURTW acting chair says union’s crisis ends soon

The acting Caretaker Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Tajudeen Agbede, has pledged to put an end to the lingering leadership crisis rocking the  union.

Agbede made the promise during the union’s 10th quadrennial delegates conference held on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Recall that NURTW has been enmeshed in a leadership tussle caused by a forced attempt to take over power by various factions of the union. The clashes which led to the death of one person, forced the Nigerian Labour Congress and other stakeholders to wade in to settle the issue.

Speaking at the event, Agbede stated that the last four years have been terrible for the union due to the highhandedness displayed by the former union leaders.

He added that the leadership will not hesitate to expel traitors who attempt to undermine the union’s unity for their selfish ambition.

“Throughout the four-year tenure of the former administration, our union was always in the news for bad reasons, and up till now, we are still battling with the problems he created for the union, especially in the South West.

“This issue led to the constitution of a caretaker committee and we have been able to reconcile some of the aggrieved factions. Lagos and Ogun are now with us, Ondo will soon join us and efforts are ongoing to bring Oyo and Osun State back to the fold.

“Because of these problems, the union was unable to conclude delegate congress in the zone, hence they are not yet represented at the national. But with the effort of our leadership we have been able to reconcile all warring parties and the union is moving forward.

“I promise you that the crises in this union will soon come to an end. Just yesterday, we were in court filed by Baruwa against the union. Indeed the struggle is not over yet but we are ready to bring back the glory days,” he said.

Also speaking at the occasion, a former president of the union, Najeem Yasin, urged the newly inaugurated officers to hit the ground running, saying that time is on their side, but history will judge them.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has assured of a good working relationship with the national leadership of the union.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, while declaring the conference open, said his ministry will work with the NURTW’s new leadership to take the union to the next level.

Lalong, who was represented by the Registrar, Trade Union, Amos Olasupo, urged the union members to close rank and resolve all issues affecting it.

“This is my first official interaction with you as a union in a gathering like this. Distinguished delegates, as you gather for this important 10th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference, and inauguration of new leaders, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to all the newly elected officers and also to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the dedicated delegates.

“With the inauguration of the new leaders today, I look forward to a good working relationship with your union. It is my hope and belief that the inauguration of the new leaders today will mark a new beginning in your union.

“Let us continue to work together and ensure that all other issues within and outside the union are resolved. Let me reassure you that the Ministry (of Labour and Employment) will work with the new leadership to take the union to the next level,” the minister said.

The PUNCH reports that the event held amidst heavy security was to inaugurate newly elected national officers who will direct the union’s affairs over the next four years. It was also to rectify delegate elections in the southwest.