Nigeria Auto-mobile Technicians (NATA) President Mr. Jacob Fayehun expressed dismay at the state government’s alleged takeover of mechanic villages, saying it resulted in the untimely death of some of its members.
He spoke at the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) Symposium labeled Federalism, antidote to national insecurity.
According to him, eight of its members have died in the past six months; some suffered strokes and other illnesses, with an income loss of over 500 million naira.
“We are here to protest against the illegal demolition of our villages of mechanics entrusted to us in 1981 by the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
Back when the Mechanical Villages were given to us, most of these areas were swampy, but we have developed, maintained and made them habitable for our work.
“Now, the Ministry of Regional Planning, through the Special Adviser to the Governor in charge of transport, Mr. Toyin Fayinka has taken over, demolished our workshops and resells the premises to the highest bidders,” he added. he declares.
Fayehun said 11 of the mechanic villages of Surulere, Abule Odofin, Ifelagba, Ikorodu and Ladipo, among other areas of the state, were taken over by the government without due regard for the welfare of the workers.
“Lagos State is killing us; the coronavirus does not kill us; none of our members die from the virus, but the state. Some of our members are deceased, have had strokes and some are in hospitals; even while we are here.
“This is all due to shock; when our villages were destroyed, they took away our clients’ vehicles and we were forced to pay 100,000 N for each vehicle before they were released; you can understand our difficulties, ”he said.
The NATA president, on behalf of the union, threatened to continue picketing outside the state assembly until the union’s demands for the return of the mechanics villages were met.
He said: “We want to get our mechanics villages back; this is just the beginning, next week we go out again until there is a solution to our problem; without us the economy will be crippled.
“We are leading this battle for the next generation, so that all our young people and technical school students can have a place to work. “
He called on NADECO members to help reclaim their village from mechanics, so that its members, who have long denied the possibility of working in and around Lagos, release the bullying.
In response to their complaint, NADECO chief Ayo Opadokun said their complaint will be communicated to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the issue will be resolved soon.