Home » General Politics, Oyo, State News » How Tokyo’s ‘juju’ scared Alao-Akala’s bulldozers

How Tokyo’s ‘juju’ scared Alao-Akala’s bulldozers

More facts have emerged on why the Oyo State government failed to demolish the state secretariat of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) at the Olomi area of Ibadan, the state capital, on Thursday.

Although the authorities had mobilized a team, comprising officials of the state Ministry of Environment and Water Resources and security agents, led by the commissioner, Alhaji Mukaila Aborode, for the exercise, the squad could not secure payloaders or bulldozers to execute the assignment.

Sunday Sun learnt that virtually all the machines in the ministries were grounded, forcing the team to resort to renting from private operators.
However, it was gathered that none of the owners of the bulldozers contacted was willing to take on the contract, due to news making the rounds in the city that the targeted premises had been charmed, such that anyone who dared to take on the job risked his life.

Sources said that some hours after news of the government’s plan to reduce the union’s secretariat to rubble leaked to the Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (aka. Tokyo)-led executive of the NURTW, several fetish rituals were reportedly performed to “protect the union’s legacy.” Superstitious city residents were said to have interpreted this as a warning that whoever attacked the building could die mysteriously.

A very senior ministry official said the team combed the entire city in vain and despite huge and tempting financial offers, it could not persuade the operators to take on the job. Determined to go on with the exercise, the government officials resuscitated a partially functional bulldozer belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture at the state secretariat in Agodi, but were miffed when the driver reportedly suddenly developed a strange illness after accepting to go, forcing them to abandon the mission.

The Environment Commissioner confirmed the ministry’s frustration in an interview with our reporter, but attributed it to the likelihood of a directive by the unionists to the operators not to cooperate so as to sabotage the exercise. Aborode however said there was no going back on the government’s resolve to pull down the edifice. He dismissed the ‘juju’ scare, saying he would supervise the demolition as soon as government was able to secure a machine.

It was also gathered that the operators’ action might have been due to fear of being caught in a possible cross-fire between security agents accompanying the task force and union members, who were said to have laid ambush for the demolition team in the neighbourhood, on getting wind of the government’s move.
Sources said armed unionists were said to have mounted a blockade to the secretariat with vandalized vehicles and other items while they took positions waiting for the team.

“The situation there (Olomi) was again tense. It could have been bloody if the police and the government (team) had come because they (union) were ready to defend their place,” a resident said. Members of the Tokyo faction were said to be milling round the secretariat at noon on Friday when the government called off the exercise.

While parleying with the members of the national executive of the union led by the president, Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin, who visited his office on Friday, Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala said: “I was to take action yesterday (Thursday) but it was because of your coming today that this had to be shelved. I wanted to demolish the building and build a public school and relocate you to a virgin land somewhere else.


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Posted by on Jan 22 2011. Filed under General Politics, Oyo, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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