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Why We Can’t Ban ‘Agberos’ In Lagos –Hamzat

The Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr Hamzat Obafemi has said banning a constitutionally recognized institution like The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) due to its incessant operational issues is not an ideal thing to do by the government.

Dr Hamzat, who disclosed this while speaking with The Nation Newspaper on the occasion of his 56th Birthday, added that the government will rather regulate its activities, being a union that is recognized by law, just like the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

He said no matter the disagreement, which is expected, because there are times government and NMA have issues, yet it is often managed, that government should not consider banning a lawful union as the modality to resolves, that it should rather be careful.

The Deputy Governor added: ”And then remember these people (NURTW) are Nigerians; they are our brothers and cousins. So, one of the things we have been telling them is that if you are the Chairman in Ajeromi and we see that there are all sorts of contraventions in Ajeromi, we will remove you as a Chairman. We are not banning your union but it means you are incompetent.”

Dr Hamzat Obafemi, Lagos Deputy Governor

He explained further: ”So, that is the outcome of one of the meetings we had with them, that if there’s an infraction in any of the areas due to the executive in that area, then it should be dissolved. And then you know we complain about our society, why people fight on the road; we have all gone around the world and it is only here we see people fighting on the road and tearing clothes off themselves, why? That has to change, but changing that does not mean banning them. It is to make sure we find the time and interact with them, and say, ‘look this is how it works’. Remember during former (Governor Bola Ahmed) Tinubu’s administration when we started BRT; it was a tug of war, but we took the union to Colombia to see how the union there metamorphosed into owning the BRT and so a lot of those blue buses at that time were owned by the union”.

Obafemi also revealed the government’s plan to transforming the State’s abattoirs to meet international standard: ”The same thing is happening in the abattoir (business); people say they don’t want the machines, some of our brothers said it is un-Islamic that they want to kill the cow themselves. So, we went to Kenya and Tanzania and we saw Muslims killing in an automated way, and so they agreed. So, it is a matter of engaging people and letting them see the reason they need to change their attitude. That is our way of doing things, not just say put them away”

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