The All Progressives Congress (APC) has moved to illegally benefit from the agreement between the transport union, the National Union of Road Transport Workers and the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, for efficient logistics election materials and election workers during elections.
Ahead of the 2023 elections, some state governments in the South West, where ruling APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu is from, suspended NURTW branches in their estates to give the party an edge. unfair.
In place of NURTW, state governments have introduced a park management system and appointed their followers to administer major parks, SaharaReporters has learned.
“We, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), had a Memorandum of Understanding with INEC for the transport of ballot boxes and their ad hoc workers as stakeholders.
“But I found out later that Lagos and most of the southwestern states were suspending the unions to clear the way for their loyalists to take over the parks and garages to do this work for the elections.
“So APC will transport the ballot boxes for the Ogun, Lagos and Ondo state elections using their already settled loyalists to run the parks,” a NURTW source told SaharaReporters on Thursday.
“They have taken over in some states and are about to take over in others. They use their followers as park managers,” another source said.
For example, in April, Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu appointed Musiliu Akinsanya, alias MC Oluomo, a Tinubu loyalist, to head a committee to oversee the affairs of all motor parks and garages in the state.
His appointment came hours after the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) sacked MC Oluomo as president of its Lagos State branch.
The appointment was contained in a statement issued by Gbenga Omotoso, the Information and Strategy Commissioner, announcing that the government has established the Parks Management Committee in line with the government’s promise to ensure that NURTW events are not allowed to threaten law and order.
“The government has therefore exercised its constitutional powers to ensure that no vacuums, which might disturb the peace of our dear state, are permitted to exist in the parks,” the statement said.
Ahead of the July 16 gubernatorial election in Osun, there was a crisis at many car parks in Osogbo, the state capital, as some NURTW members in the state alleged that the management of the union was seeking an illegal extension of their tenure, calling on the state government to take over the car parks and hand them over to a fleet management team, as is done in Lagos, Ondo, Oyo and Ogun.
In December 2018, INEC signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja with transport unions for efficient logistics ahead of the 2019 general elections.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said the commission needed more than 100,000 vehicles to deploy state office staff and equipment to 774 local government areas, 8,809 constituencies and 119,973 polling stations, which he said the commission could not undertake on its own.
“In order to achieve this commitment, INEC needs more than 100,000 vehicles. The logistical requirements exceed INEC’s internal resources.
“It is for this reason that the Commission has been in partnership with NURTW for which a memorandum of understanding was signed with the union in January 2015,” he said.
In September 2021, INEC and road transport unions met again to review the implementation of the jointly signed (MoU) ahead of the 2019 general election and other polls.
NURTW and the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NATO) are involved in the deal.
According to the Chief Technical Assistant to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Bolade Ayila, the revision of the MoU was necessary ahead of Anambra’s gubernatorial election at the end of 2021 and general elections in 2023 .