The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has described the sudden death of the state Chairman of the National Union of Road and Transport Workers, Alhaji Taofeek Ayorinde, popularly known Fele, as very depressing and tragic.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, on Tuesday, the governor said he received the news with heavy heart and utter disbelief.
Describing the death of the NURTW boss as a huge loss to the family the state and the South West, Ajimobi said he was particularly pained because he had lost a dependable ally and purveyor of peace.
He said he was proud of Oyerinde’s emergence as the South West Chairman of the NURTW, adding that it was in recognition of his sterling leadership ability and propagation of peace and orderliness among the drivers.
Ajimobi said: “I am greatly saddened by the passing away of Fele. It is very unfortunate and disheartening, especially because he has over time proved to be a dependable ally in our administration’s quest to restore peace to the land.
“That the motor parks across the state are rancor and violence-free today can be partly attributed to his yeoman efforts to whip errant and rapacious drivers into line. He commands respect among the drivers for his sterling leadership qualities.
“His death is indeed a big loss, not only to his family, but also to the NURTW nationwide and the entire people of Ibadanland. May the Almighty grant the family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this great loss.
“With the directive of the national leadership of the union that Fele’s deputy, Alhaji Abideen Olajide, a.k.a. Ejiogbe should fill the vacuum created by his death in acting capacity, I urge our drivers to respect this decision and go about their lawful activities without rancour.
“I enjoin the good people of Oyo State to be vigilant around the motor parks and report any act capable of breaching the public peace without delay. May Allah repose the gentle soul of the deceased and grant him the highest place in Jannah.”
Ajimobi sued for calm and admonished the NURTW leadership in the state to eschew violence or leadership tussle at this time when he said they should maintain sobriety in honour of the deceased.