Ogun lawmaker raises the alarm over armed robbery, cult clashes

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*wants NURTW restored in motor parks

A member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Dare Kadiri, has decried the resurgence of armed robbery and cult clashes in Ago-Iwoye and some communities in Ijebu North Local Government Area of the state.

Kadiri, representing Ijebu North II State Constituency, declared that there was urgent need to tackle the security challenges posed by criminal elements across the state.

He made the call while speaking under personal explanation at the plenary held on Thursday in Abeokuta, which was presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo.

The lawmaker expressed concern over the rising cases of robbery and cultism, especially in Ago-Iwoye and environs, noting that security agencies had failed to curb the recurrence of crimes.

Kadiri, who further fielded questions from reporters, disclosed that the crime wave almost resulted into an outbreak of communal clash recently in his constituency.

“There was another incident that almost led to communal clash after two motorcyclists were killed and their motorcycles snatched. We only thank God for the intervention of people like myself, Hon. Adesegun Adekoya (Attacker) and our Kabiyesi, among others,” he said.

Responding to the lawmaker’s submission, the Speaker enjoined the state Commissioner of Police to rejig the security architecture of the state towards improving its operational surveillance to address the prevailing security challenges.

Oluomo charged the Police Command and other security agencies in the state to up their game, especially around Ago-Iwoye, which has peculiarities as a community hosting a state-owned university.

He harped on the need to ensure strategic protection of whiste-blowers for effective intelligence gathering towards improving security networks for the safety of lives and property.

The Speaker further admonished members of the community development associations, religious organisations, traditional rulers and all residents in the state to always liaise with security operatives towards nipping crimes and criminalities in the bud.

Meanwhile, Kadiri has demanded the disbandment of the Park Management Committee set up by the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration to collect levies in motor parks and garages in the state.

According to him, the committee was not a legal entity and should be immediately disbanded as a revenue collection agency.

He called for the reinstatement of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) which the state government earlier proscribed across the parks and garages in the state.

It will be recalled that Governor Abiodun banned the NURTW from collecting levies in all the motor parks and garages after proscribing the Union following leadership tussle among its members.

In place of the NURTW, the governor constituted the Park Management Committee headed by Alhaji Akeem Bodunrin aka Iyeru, which has since been collecting levies on behalf of the state government.

But Kadiri, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, said there was an urgent need for the total review of the transport union sector in the state.

According to him, the present park managers collecting revenue from transporters on behalf of the government were unregistered and illegal.

He pointed out that since members of the NURTW belong to the organised labour, their operations ought to be restored in line with extant laws, adding that the union no longer poses any security threat.

He argued that the proscription of NURTW in the state had brought untold hardship to members of the union, stressing that there should be an end to their plight.

Kadiri said, “It’s high time we stopped doing things shabbily. NURTW is a member of the Organised Labour and more so, their members have their own families.

“I am not a member of the Transport Committee but I’m a member of the House of Assembly and I’m supposed to protect my constituents. Yaro Ade (NURTW Chairman) and many of the transporters are from my constituency and I can see their families are suffering. We should not be punishing people for political reasons anymore.”

The lawmaker, who insisted that the park managers were operating without any legal framework, urged the governor to sack them from various parks and garages in the state.

“Before you can be a tax collector, you must have a registered entity with the government and all other requirements,” he added.

Kadiri, who noted that the Speaker also shared in his concern, however, stated that the sitting directed the House Committee on Transport to review the issue.

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