Given the alleged forceful and illegal takeover of the management and running of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Imo State Council, by Chief Kenneth Okafor, aggrieved stakeholders of the union have sent a Save Our Soul to Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
The unionists who pleaded anonymity made the passionate appeal at the weekend urged the governor to intervene in the matter and call his Special Adviser on Transport to order as his alleged dictatorial and corrupt tendencies are not only adversely affecting union members, but also, tarnishing the good image of his government.
The stakeholders drawn from all the branches in the state alleged that Chief Okafor has completely hijacked all parks in the state in line with his quest to become a multimillionaire from revenue generated from motor parks.
The aggrieved members explained that their members are daily being forced to dance to his tune or get sacked, adding that in furtherance of this get rich quick plan every branch is now being forced to remit more than fifty percent of its daily revenue into his private pocket.
They noted that branch chairmen who exhibited the courage to question the alleged illegal diversion of government revenue were promptly sacked and replaced by non union members.
According to them, non union members are being forcefully imposed on the union are neither original members of the union nor the ruling party faithful, but only joined both in the wake of being given union jobs.
The stakeholders further alleged that over one thousand genuine and registered union members have been sacked by Chief Okafor in the last few months, even as they restated their earlier vow to publish the names of the affected members and send same to Governor Uzodinma to prove their claims, after finishing the compilation soon.
Continuing, the group noted that apart from those outrightly sacked from their job, thousands more now go home with little or nothing after toiling under sun and rain because bulk of daily revenue from parks find its way into his private account.
They dismissed recent reported claim by the state chairman Comrade Samuel Ude that Chief Okafor was not running NURTW as personal estate, saying the chairman may have done that to save his job.
According to them, “He is not happy with what is happening. He is being forced to take the bullet by Chief Okafor and in order not to lose his job he is complying. But, we can assure you that deep down he is unhappy with the unfortunate situation” They added
According to them the chairman can’t do otherwise knowing that his predecessor’s refusal to allow the transport aide turn the union to his cash cow as is happening now, was what allegedly led to his being blackmailed before the governor.
The group called on the governor to use his executive powers to address the excesses of Chief Okafor which has caused untold injury to the union and thousands of its members, insisting that throwing people into the labour market at a time of serious economic crisis, could force them into anti social behaviours.
The stakeholders begged the governor to investigate Chief Okafor’s alleged impunity and sanction him if found guilty, to put to rest insinuations that he may be aware of Chief Okafor’s alleged illegal and corrupt activities, but is looking the other way, because he is one of untouchables in his government being his kinsman.
Efforts made to get Chief Okafor respond to the allegations levelled against him proved abortive as he could not be reached through telephone as at the time of going to the press.