By: Fashina Shakiru
Omo Epetedo Forum is one of the most respected socio cultural groups in Lagos Island, which my forefathers were members of this platform. And because of this I owe my ancestral home that a respect or honor, yet. I have a duty as stakeholder and of course a mouth-piece in the Maritime Industry to inform, enlighten the public the salient happenings in the sector without any prejudice, favoritism or elitism which is true journalism.
Ours has been journalism of objectiveness, our records are there. Over the years, I have consistently reported the happenings on Mile 2, Apapa/Oshodi expressway, especially as it concerns traffic, road constructions, water transportation and community news etc. Moreover, in my scope of work, I have also served as a Media Aide to Ikomodina, Chairman LASPGM, Amuwo – Odofin, Badary division, reporting issues that pertain transportation and other related matters. All these have exposed me to all intrinsic parts in the sector. How then am I a rookie as Secretary of the Omo Epetedo Forum has put? Or is he doing this because of petish or elitist journalist?
Therefore, if I do a story on how Sola-Giwa, the S. A on Transportation has jeopardized this sector, I know what I am saying. I have mentioned in my articles how Ikomodina, M. C oluomo have worked assiduously to ensure APC takes its place in Lagos, even at Federal. So how am I a rookie in journalism? Or should we forget objective news in this field just we belong to a folk or same cultural background? My point if someone had been in support of a course, such person should it’s dividends without any acrimony.
Good in your writings, you said Sola – Giwa has used his office to bring in the indigenes of Epetedo into the Traffic Agency. Are these people brought in on merits? Or he did base on relationship. Enough of these sentiments. This he has also played out in the issue of COMTUA, where he has placed Aroyewun on the stakeholders in the industry against the people’s wish. And what’s our wish? Our wish is not far fetched. It’s simple. The Association is simply saying, the extortion should stop and put a round peg in a round hole. I do not think is too much, instead of your Kettle calling a pot black. I have reiterated that you come with your facts for I have come with mine.
Consequently, I would have found so pertinent if Hon, Shakiru Sola-Giwa had responded constructively to enlighten the public over the allegations levelled against him rather than instigating a Secretary of the Omo Epetedo Forum to respond.
Again, one of the relevant questions raised by the author, is “the decision of the Lagos State government to harmonize all Unions in the Maritime sector is the first and major reform to get rid of all ills in the industry. A very germane, commendable act which must be supported by all.” Yes, a good step in a right direction but the author failed to understand and asked if the objectives of that reform were to improve the overall efficiency of maintaining and managing different union members in a unified one. But the Ministry of Transportation has failed to invite all the stakeholders in the industry to decide and have input in the reform. In a letter released from the ministry, stated that formally inform you of the recognition and approval of the Council of Maritime Transport Unions Association. The issues is , how and when did he arrive at approving COMTUA as a single body where other Associations are not briefed and carried along? . This same body have been severally disassociated by many members for constantly engaging in extortion and all kinds of illegality at the Nigerian port.
Recently there are allegations that Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Association COMTUA is in the habit of violating port rules by going behind back to put pressure on the Port Standing Task Team to release their trucks without passing through due process. One of such violation is a truck allegedly belonging to COMTUA members, which was recently arrested for operating double licensed plate numbers.
Instead of Hon Sola-Giwa focusing on Lagos State white paper Transport Unions activities 2004, “to ensure peace and tranquility is maintained by different associations in the Maritime sector and to address various challenges confronting this sector in the state,he derailed recruiting truck-crosser group who have records of crime atrocities in the maritime business. “There are also reported cases of all kinds of illegality and extortion of money from co-members which contravenes the objectives for which COMTUA was formed”
The author also raised issue of, “While we are not speaking for Hon. Taofeek Adeyinka Aroyewun, No one can deprive a citizen of Lagos any appointment in his state. If the state government desires to give the job to a round peg in the round hole, no one can stop the developmental strides of the government.” This is a bizarre commentary that cannot be accepted and I have allegedly and maintained in the said article, “Why Gov Sanwo-Olu must stop Sola-Giwa’s Mission to Impose PDP Stalwart, Adeyinka Aroyewun on Lagos Transport stakeholders.” To this effect, I still maintained my position that , Aroyewun is a member of PDP and why Sola-Giwa wants to jeopardize all efforts of bringing back Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu come 2023, abid which I am urging the party authority to check-out before it’s too late. That someone professes a member of a parry does not mean he cannot work against such party.
But come to think of it; Hon Sola-Giwa and his cohorts are implying that those who have been working tirelessly for the party affairs are “hewers of wood and drawers of water” meaning that the likes of LASPGM Chairman Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, ( MC Oluomo), and his cabinet, Alhaji Sulaimon Ojora (Kudite) Alhaji Mustaph Adekunle (Sego) and others are used solely for “manual labor or menial tasks at the behest of others” because putting the round peg in the roles means there are not competent and responsible person only meant for merely electioneering job.
Although if I may ask Hon Sola-Giwa what role Arowoyeun has that MC Oluomo, Kudite, and Sego can not play? Again, what role has Aroyewun been playing in All Progressives Congress in the state? Aroyewun who is a member of PDP and particularly working for Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and who has been assigned for campaign activities in Lagos is the one Sola-Giwa gives appointment as Head of Maritime Union, a body in the state where we have the prominent party stakeholders, party stalwart working, and contributing their resources to the campaign activities of the party in the state. This action an attempt to undermine and discourage those that have been in the front of make the party prominent in the state.
It will interest you to remind you that Sola-Giwa’s atrocities, he committed by your gang before arrested by the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) for operating an illegal check point and extortion on Apapa which lndependent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC invited him over illegal extortion which he failed to honour is still fresh on our mind. This and many more purported issues are reasons he has been chased out of Apapa some years back due to his discrepancies , greedy for money , and corrupt practices with divide and rule which he used to disorganized all the pressure groups and associations in the Maritime Industry ndustry.
I hope that Sola-Giwa would use his good office,to defend himself than shifting the focus from the fact that APC party and government of the day has favoured him in every opportunity presented for action speaks volume of antiparty .