Monday, February 6, 2023

MC Oluomo’s appointment legitimises thuggery in Lagos

If MC Oluomo were the only unsavoury individual on this list then this alarm can be dismissed.

• April 12, 2022
Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo
Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo

The appointment of Musiliu Akintunde Akinsanya as Chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee as a response to his ouster from the NURTW national structure is a waiting calamity on the future of Lagos State. One is constrained to warn that this legitimisation of Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo and the total capture of the transportation sector under his command may be beneficial to the APC in Lagos State and Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the short-term but it will be at the detriment of the future politics of Lagos, that of commuters within Lagos State and a terrible example in future of a disastrous state government. 

While one applauds the trend of emulating Gov. Seyi Makinde by APC Governors in resolving issues around NURTW and Parks Management, one has to warn Gov. Sanwo-Olu to understudy further how Makinde found a one-time solution to the previously incessant crises, understand the unique issues in Lagos and adapt accordingly. 

MC Oluomo cannot be managed. That the NURTW national leadership could not successfully curb or cage him until it had to first suspend and then remove him from the Lagos chapter, is a pointer to his growing relevance and power in Lagos State, now legitimised by the State Government. The appointment of Hakeem Odumosu to the same committee of NURTW enforcers and the listing of his number as number one and Government Liason Officer is a laughable attempt to put a leather leash on a lion. Rtd. AIG Hakeem Odumosu was a fine Police Commissioner in Lagos but I submit that he will be grossly unable to manage or cage MC Oluomo, as surely as the Baruwa led national leadership of the NURTW could not and as he himself proved unable to handle the crises under his watch while still in police uniform. 

Lagosians might recall that it was the Baruwa-led NURTW which first imposed Oluomo on the Lagos NURTW only as Caretaker Chairman from which position Oluomo wrangled his way into taking over the entire Lagos structure in a tepid alliance with other APC enforcers from various factions. 

From his headship of the NURTW, Oluomo brought under himself other arms of commercial transporters including tricycles and motorcycles – a move resisted strongly by the Tricycle Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN), under the leadership of Alhaji Azeez Abiola aka Istijabah. Oluomo’s insistence on controlling all aspects of commercial transportation in Lagos State has been a constant reason for various skirmishes across Lagos. 

That Oluomo is a part of the APC governance structure is not in doubt. One reminds Lagosians of an incident in January 2019 where NURTW factions within the APC clashed at the flag-off of the APC gubernatorial campaigns at Skypower Club in Ikeja. The clash of NURTW factions within the APC, led to the stabbing of MC Oluomo, the declaration of Mustapha Adekunle aka Saygo wanted by the police and the unfortunate death of one Ismaila Azeez Ibrahim. That the Parks and Management Committee now includes the likes of Mustapha Adekunle aka Saygo, Sulyman Ojora aka Kudeleti, Ganiyu Ayinde aka Koko Zaria, Adeyinka Adebayo aka School Authority aka Sulu Baba Ewe alongside Oluomo is confirmation to us that the LASG has now officialised an unholy matrimony to thuggery and brigandage in Lagos State. 

What Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has done in this instance is to place the official seal of government upon the rogue activities of Oluomo which has led to the breakdown of law and order in the past. The most recent instance is yet another one upon which Kunle Azeez Lawal aka Kunle Poly, who has only just recently been granted bail and is about to go on trial. The response of the National Leadership of the NURTW under Tajudeen Baruwa to this last brigandage was to invite both sides to explain the reason for the fracas which left at least two persons dead in Lagos Island. MC Oluomo snubbed the national leadership of the organization to which he belongs, LASG moved to arrest Kunle Poly and some others, thereby paving the way for Oluomo to gain total control of the NURTW. Understanding that such a move would only lead to further clashes and bloodshed as the NURTW operates with various factional groups to produce one testy and tepid structure, Baruwa directed MC Oluomo to handover leadership after suspending him. That LASG has now legitimised him with a new designation outside the official structure of NURTW which hitherto tried to manage him, is a consolidation of the Government of Sanwo-Olu and its enforcement arms of the APC cabal. This consolidation will only birth more crises in future. 

One is forced to ask: what now happens to the Self Employed Commercial Drivers Association of Nigeria (SECDAN) or Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Or the Motorcycles Operators Association of Lagos State? In the next few weeks, months and years, we will witness the gradual takeover of every transport association under the command and leadership of MC Oluomo, with the attendant violent breakouts but this time with Oluomo acting with the full backing of the LASG and Sanwo-Olu and the situation cannot augur well for Lagosians and commuters in Lagos.

If MC Oluomo were the only unsavoury individual on this list then this alarm can be dismissed. The presence of so many others makes it clear to me that this is nothing but a legitimization of thuggery in Lagos State and a creation of a fourth arm of government. Sulu Authority for example as Special Assistant to Governor Sanwo-Olu, is facing allegations in the wake of the #ENDSARS Panel that he led thugs to assault some of those who came to testify before the panel. These are the characters that Sanwo-Olu has now legitimised and given the full backing authority of the state. 

I urge all Lagosians to condemn this move and take strong notice of it for such a time as when violence increases in Lagos State. It should further be cause for the rejection of Sanwo-Olu and the APC in the next election as a vote for the APC will be equivalent to a vote for violence. 

Demola Olarewaju is a Media Strategist and a Lagos PDP Member as well as Thought Leader of The Legacy Discussions Circle.

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