Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, president of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), has charged Simon Lalong, minister of labour and employment, with prejudice in the ongoing reconciliation process.
Lalong, according to Baruwa, favours the Union faction led by Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede.
He made the accusation in a statement released by Comrade Anthony Asogwa Chukwudi, the Union’s general secretary, in Abuja.
On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, according to Baruwa, the Minister met in private with the Agbede faction of the Union and allegedly instructed them to organise a new National Quadrennial Delegates Conference.
Such guidance, according to Baruwa, violates the Union’s constitution, especially Article 8 Section 2 (1).
“Recall that our constitution, approved by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, stipulates that the quadrennial delegates conference of the union shall be held in August of every four years,” said Chukwudi.
The Minister explicitly urged the Agbede group to move forward with the new conference, the Union President continued, saying that they shouldn’t allow the Union to fall apart because of one person. The source, who attended the meeting but wished to remain anonymous, corroborated this claim.
“When such a statement comes from a government official expected to be an unbiased umpire, it only worsens the Union’s problem,” Baruwa lamented.
The President also expressed his surprise at the Agbede-led group’s continued functioning at the National Secretariat of the Union in spite of a Minister Lalong order suspending both factions’ operations on October 9, 2023.
Minister Lalong was later urged by Baruwa to retract his conduct and stop endangering the Union’s reconciliation efforts.
“It is most unfortunate and unbecoming of the Minister, a lawyer, to be seen supporting or laying credence to lawlessness and ‘civilian coup d’état’,” he stated.
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