From YINKA FABOWALE, Ibadan
Freed chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo State, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola a.k.a. Tokyo, has castigated Governor Abiola Ajimobi for allegedly being partly responsible for his travails as a fugitive in the last one and a half years he was declared wanted.
Tokyo, who was allowed home on bail after he surrendered himself to the police, and was quizzed over pending criminal cases against him, including the bloody intra-union fracas that led to the death of many in Ibadan shortly after the inauguration of Governor Ajimobi, said he was disappointed that the governor did nothing to protect him when the police declared him wanted over an offence he did not commit.
Worse still, he said, were the governor’s efforts at frustrating his attempt to clear himself and be reinstated as chairman of the transporters’ union in contravention of court orders by challenging the court judgment and installation of “illegal 14-man caretaker committee” to run motor parks in the state, which amounted to usurping his union’s powers and functions.
The NURTW boss, who spoke exclusively with Sunday Sun, said he did not deserve the ill treatment, having allegedly worked assiduously for the election of Ajimobi as governor in the 2011 election. He denied speculation that his release was arranged by politicians, saying although the police declared him wanted, he never received direct invitation from the state command until the tenure of the incumbent Police Commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu, hence his decision to honour it. “I participated fully in the election of Governor Ajimobi. There was no meeting between me and any political party – PDP, PRP or anything – because Baba Lam (Adesina) was my father.
We are from the same Oluyole Local Government. We both suffered and were incarcerated for fighting for democracy during the Abacha regime. I think the problem is that people are misadvising him (Ajimobi). They have painted me black before the governor, but he shouldn’t have listened to them, he shouldn’t have taken it that way, because I was instrumental to his election. They used and dumped me. I haven’t gained anything from them. If he got such information, he was supposed to have called me to find out the fact, not depend on hearsay…
“You know after the judgment, the government installed an illegal 14-man caretaker committee to take over. (But the governor has denied he did so). This is contrary to court judgment. So, now I want my mandate restored, because the judgment of the court should not be set aside. Ajimobi himself is a beneficiary of court judgments.
The PDP took him to court over his dual citizenship of Nigeria and America. If they had won, he would not be there (in office) now. But, the court passed judgment in his favour and that’s why he remains the governor. So, he should respect the court of law. •Watch out for the full interview in Daily Sun this week