By Johnson Egigide
It is no longer news that the Delta State wing of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has been on the verge of collapse owing to internal wrangling; what is trending about the union is the uncompromising postures of some members of the union to embrace the peace towards the actualisation of the strong determination of the Governor Okowa Administration to finish stronger than it started in 2015.
After the election of the union in the state that was said to have returned Comrade Dennis Araro unopposed as the chairman, pandemonium was said to have been let loose with the union fictionalised into two groups, the mainstream NURTW and the breakaway, Up Delta.
It was widely reported that the state government through the Ministry of Transport had stepped in to stem the tide of friction in the union by constituting a committee to manage the affairs of the union, particularly, concerning the issue of ticketing at the various motor parks in the state.
Unfortunately, this development had prompted the NURTW, led by Comrade Araro, to seek legal interpretations of the involvement of the committee and Up Delta in the affairs of the union at the High Court in Asaba, the state capital; that, after the failed attempts by stakeholders, including the national leadership of the union, led by the President, Professor Ibikunle Tajudeen Baruwa, to settle the impasse in the state.
Only recently, the High Court in Asaba passed the judgement, confirming Comrade Araro as the recognised chairman of the union and stopping any other factions, including the committee in the ministry, from any form of further involvements in the affairs of the union, including the issuance of tickets at the motor parks in the state. Expectedly, this appears to have been rebuffed by the opposing faction, which is bent at maintaining the status quo. An indication that there might be brutal classes between the two groups in the state.
However, it is heartwarming that the state governor in his fatherly and peaceful disposition has not left the disputing factions of the union unchecked. Governor Okowa is said to have enjoined the parties to maintained the peace, pending when he would call for a parley with members of the union to chart a way forward in settling the raging discord that has emasculated the mainstream NURTW in the state for more than a year now.
Speaking to some newsmen in Asaba recently, Comrade Araro said that he had absolute confidence in the ability of Governor Okowa to resolve the issue amicably, adding that those in opposition were still members of the union, even as he said that they were being lured to cause divisions in the union for selfish reasons.
Comrade Araro said that he had enjoined his members to maintain the peace in the face of unwarranted provocations while carrying out their duties, adding that the readiness of the governor to halt the drift of the union from anarchy must be reciprocated by members through peaceful conducts.
While applauding this peaceful disposition of the chairman of the NURTW in the state, it is necessary to state the danger inherent in allowing the festering imbroglio in the union to snowball into a demon of destruction in the state. What happened in Lagos and Oyo states as a result of such unnecessary infighting should not be allowed to occur in the state. The existing peace and security in the state should be maintained, as any form of its breach could attract even those not interested in the union issue to join forces in causing untold confusion, killings and destruction of properties of innocent Deltans and residents in the state because of their seeming despondency.
The time to act is now ! Preemptive measures are cheaper than redemptive course of actions in crises management.