Armed ViolenceNews

Residents In Fear As Road Transport Workers Cause Unrest In Ibadan

The removal of a notorious park management boss in Oyo State has triggered violence between factions of road transport workers in the state capital.

The sacking of a key transport union “boss” has sparked violence in Ibadan.

Drivers and motor park customers had to flee for their lives from a bloody fracas in the Isebo area of Ibadan over the removal of an official of the Park Management System (PMS) in the southwestern Nigerian city.

“There is gunfire in Ibadan, particularly Iyana Church and Iwo-road areas of the city. We can’t go out because these thugs unleashed terror as early as 6:00 am,” Shuaibu Alimi, a commercial cab driver, told HumAngle on Tuesday, May 30. 

Mukaila Lamidi, popularly known as Auxiliary, was sacked by Governor Seyi Makinde hours after the governor was inaugurated for a fresh four year term. 

After Makinde’s inauguration on May 29, Auxiliary’s thugs attacked members of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) who had accompanied the Governor from the inauguration venue to his residence. 

Angered by the development and many other irregularities by Auxiliary, Makinde ordered the removal of the PMS boss. 

Transport workers union 

The NURTW leadership collects millions from transport taxes collected from drivers of commercial buses, tricycles, and motorcycles. 

The opportunities attached to holding key positions like chairman of a park, or executive member at the state level, is often the reason for their repeated clashes and they have a strong history in Ibadan, especially between 2003 and 2011. During a leadership tussle between two factions of the NURTW in 2011, 10 people, including the President of the Nigerian Medical Students, were killed.

The union was then proscribed by late Governor Isiaka Ajimobi and some of the leaders found to have contributed to the crisis served jail terms. One of them is Auxiliary who was jailed in 2016 and eventually released in 2018.

Appointment of Auxiliary 

In 2019, Governor Seyi Makinde shocked many residents of the state when he reappointed Auxiliary as leader of Oyo road transport workers under the banner of PMS.

The governor in a statement by his commissioner for public works, infrastructure and transport, Raphael Afonja, said the development would instil sanity in motor parks and boost the state internally generated revenue (IGR). 

But many residents and transport workers who have witnessed the reign of Auxiliary in the last few years said the decision was ill-advised.

Barely two years later on June 16, 2021, Auxiliary thugs had a fracas with phone sellers at the popular Iwo-Road, leading to the death of two phone sellers. In the same month, six persons were killed in a crisis involving PMS officials, forcing angry youths to march to the governor’s office carrying the remains of one of those killed in the violence.

The youths vowed not to leave until they met with the governor to brief him on what transpired and the involvement of the Auxiliary-led park management in repeated mayhem in the capital city. The governor did not grant them an audience. 

“Aside from forcefully demanding money from Micra drivers and commercial motorcyclists,  they fight without notice. We ran for safety, leaving our goods when they began their crisis.”


Following his removal from office on Monday, Auxiliary’s boys took to the streets to express their displeasure as some of them threatened to make the state ungovernable.  

In the early hours of Tuesday, security operatives raided his hotel. Though Auxiliary escaped, the police recovered some ammunition and charms. 

Adewale Osifeso, Oyo police spokesperson is yet to respond to calls and text messages sent to him on the development as of the time of filing this report.  

A resident of Iyana Church area of Ibadan, Bukola Raji, told HumAngle that “there’s tension everywhere as people are indoors in my area as police parade the streets looking for armed thugs.”

Many people in Ibadan have taken to social media to warn of the unrest in Ibadan, the Southwest’s largest city.

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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