Imo State House of Assembly has urged the state governor, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha to urgently sack the caretaker committee of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Imo State branch.
The House which waded into the issue of the union which has been in the public domain for some time now, made the call through a motion it unanimously moved on its floor on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
According to Hon Dominic Ezerioha member for Oru East State Constituency who moved the motion, the caretaker committee led by Mr Anthony Mbakwem is not only grossly incompetent, but also financially reckless and consequently has been unable to pay taxes and levies that are supposed to accrue to the government from the union.
Leading contributions on the motion, Hon Ezerioha argued that a body like the NURTW being a major beneficiary of government infrastructure and other facilities that gulp huge capital like roads is supposed to be fulfilling its financial obligations diligently and conscientiously but, regretted that, the current interim team has failed woefully in that responsibility.
Against this backdrop, he stressed that it has become expedient and necessary to end the reign of incompetence and recklessness through immediate dissolution of the committee.
The lawmaker further called on Gov Ihedioha to use his good office to bring stability and normalcy back to the floundering union by constituting a substantive executive committee to be headed by a chairman already recommended by the government.
Other lawmakers who spoke on the motion described it as a timely intervention in view of the myriad of reported unbecoming conduct and actions of the caretaker which they noted are gradually pushing the union down the path of crisis and likely violence.
The lawmakers said since the inception of the Anthony Mbakwem committee there have been lorry load of complaints from various quarters but more from aggrieved members whose jobs were violently and forcefully taken away.
The act of forcefully sacking people according to them runs counter to the philosophy of Imo Rebuilding Agenda as it seeks to divide and not unite, throw citizens into unemployment instead of creating more job opportunities, and most disturbingly, laying foundation for likely breach of peace and security in the state in the event members being forcefully laid off decided to resist such unlawful eviction.
Reacting to the call on the governor the sack the caretaker a director in the Ministry of Transport who pleaded for anonymity described the motion as one of most laudable achievement of the current House, saying the NURTW in the state is a ticking time bomb that could explode anytime due to the despotic and autocratic leadership style of the caretaker chairman.
According to him Mr Mbakwem is law unto himself as he never consults nor listens to counsel from any official in the ministry including from even the commissioner himself, recalling that the caretaker chairman sometime ago told the commissioner to his face that he can’t sack him.
Also, members of the union who reacted to the development described it as a big relief from the alleged bad leadership foisted on them by Mr Mbakwem, while at the same time expressed the hope that Gov Ihedioha being a veteran lawmaker who strongly believes in the separation of powers will immediately implement the lawful decision of the Assembly.