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FOSSU Senate President, Com. Oke Wasiu Ayinde 

The Senate President of the Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union, FOSSU, National Council, Com. Oke Wasiu Ayinde (a.k.a. Pattern) in a Press Conference held today at Federal College of Agriculture, Moore Plantation, Apata, Ibadan, advises the State Government on the choice of leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state.

While addressing the Press men present at the briefing, the.Senate President appreciates the urgent intervention of the State Government in banning the activities of the union on 31st May, 2019, after his inauguration following their attempt to disturb the peace of the state with the forceful takeover of the union activities attempting by them in the state at that time.

He as well brought to the memory of the Indigene of the state the ugly occurrences of the June 4, 2011 leadership battle cum factional clashes between Mr. Mukaila Lamidi (a.k.a. Auxiliary) and Alh. Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo) that claimed lives and properties, and the sad one of it is the killing of National President of the Nigerian Medical Student Association, Mr. Auwal Shanono, the deceased who until his death was a 500-level Medical Student of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

It should be recalled that, many news platform reported the resolution of the National Chairman of the union in his attempt to ensure peaceful collaboration among his member in the state, Alh. Najeem Yasin with the two wary faction of the union in the state; Alh. Mukaila Lamidi (Auxiliary) and Mr. Abideen Olajide (Eji’ogbe), and which the National Chairman can be quoted after the peaceful meeting to have said “We have worked out modality to resolve the issue, and the modality was that each of the faction will bring nine (9) persons from their respective camps. This will make it 18 men who are going to be saddled with the leadership of the union for the next four years.”

Below is the full text of the Press Conference:

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As the outgoing Senate President of the National Body of Federation of Oyo State Student Union (FOSSU), I wish to express my sincere satisfaction to the administration of Engineer Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State for his witty policies within the first few weeks of your office assumption. It is obvious that the people of Oyo State did not make the wrong choice of leadership. Your ruling that led to the suspension of the activities of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state, which is long overdue, is highly commendable as it doused the tension and insecurity that has heightened as a result of the recent leadership crisis of the union. As a round peg placed in a round hole, you have shown an immense knowledge of the technical know-how in dealing with the intricacies of a state like ours.

As an active member of the state coupled with my knowledge of history, I have closely followed the activities of the NURTW from the past until recent time. It is no longer news that every change in the state administration is usually met with a serious leadership tussle within the union. Some of the tussles have heightened to crises that have claimed many innocent lives. The negative effects of the June 4 2011 leadership battle cum factional clashes caused by a forceful takeover attempt by some elements purportedly led by Mr. Mukaila Lamidi (a.k.a. Auxiliary) and Alh. Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo) remain indelible in the mind of those who lost relatives or friends to the unfortunate incident, not excluding innocent and promising students.

This unfortunate incident would have repeated itself a few months ago at various parks in the state if not for your immeasurable discretion to curtail the rising tension. Since the inception of the administration of Alh. Lateef Akinsola (a.k.a. Tokyo) in 1993, violence has become enormously pronounced in the activities of the NURTW in the state. The union has been characterized by thuggery, maiming, killing, and other anti-social behaviours, especially when it comes to leadership change. The members of the union continue to shed innocent blood as if libation is being offered to the gods. This poses a serious threat to the state as lives and property not only become insecure, but investors are also scared away.

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Do we then continue to tolerate those whose actions have led to the circumvention of the laws of the state? Do we lend support to the camp that attempted a forceful take-over of motor parks in the state? Does anyone found culpable of criminal activities continue to enjoy impunity irrespective of their loyalty? In a sane society governed by the principles of laws? These are questions that call for a serious meditation.

A long-standing tradition of political party loyalty has been alleged to be a determining factor in the leadership of the union. In as much as this doesn’t contradict the laws in any way, such a tradition must be observed without contravening the established laws of the state. Men make traditions and, thus, can change same. Any tradition that fails to be practiced within the ambit of the laws is not worthy to stand. Is it not profitable to change an existing tradition to enjoy peace than to hold firmly to an existing one with no assurance of peace and security?

The administration of Alh. Taofeek Oyerinde (a.k.a. Fele) undoubtedly restored normalcy to the union with the people of the state enjoyed a bountiful harvest of peace. He sanitized the union to a point of even overseeing its participation in corporate social responsibility. In fact, any appointed or elected leader of the union should borrow a leaf from his sterling leadership style. From all indications, the leadership of Mr. Abideen Olajide (a.k.a. Eji Ogbe) in the Acting Chairman capacity tends to tow that same path until the attempted forceful take-over.

In as much as the political neutrality of the student union cannot be ruled out, it won’t equally make it be a party to leadership that poses a serious threat to the security of lives and property in the state. Any individual, irrespective of their status or affiliation, with criminal records, is not suitable to assume a leadership position in any state governed by the dictates of the law. Thus, no one would better fit into such a sensitive leadership position (that is, of the NURTW) other than an individual with a clear record. Making a wrong appointment from one of the warring camps may further heat the already calm polity.

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Your Excellency, in August 2018, while commiserating with NURTW on its loss of Alh. Taofeek Oyerinde, you made reference to the role of union can play in generating Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the state and your proposed partnership with the union to achieve the dreams of the new administration in the state. The time to fulfil your promise is now. I strongly believe that Your Excellency is quite aware of the great need to ensure security and will not compromise same on the altar of affinity with anyone. You will use your good discretion and unparalleled wisdom in seeing to the compliance with the rule of peace and legality by the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the election of worthy hands as leaders of the union to ensure assured security of lives and property.

I strongly believe the trust reposed in Your Excellency by the people of the state will guide you in making decisions that would be in their best interests rather than those of a few in the state. I pray that the Almighty will see you through in your quest to reclaim the lost glory of the state and reposition same on the path of unprecedented economic growth and human development.

Thank you everyone.

I am Comrade Oke Wasiu Ayinde (a.k.a. Pattern), the outgoing Senate President of the National Body of Federation of Oyo State Student Union (FOSSU).