Chairman, Edo Tippers Drivers Association, Comrade Austin Uhunmwangho, has called on members of the association to go about their lawful duties and disregard the purported call for the Association’s elections by some members.

Addressing a press conference in Benin City on Wednesday, Comrade Uhunmwangho described those calling for elections as impostors as they remain suspended from the union having contravened the law guiding the Association.

Uhunmwangho said the suspended members, led by one Osaro Aigbekaen, who he alleged is fond of fanning the embers of crisis, were not bonafide members of the association, stating that Aigbekaen had been given a four-year suspension by the association as a result of his unbecoming behaviour.

Aigbekaen was accused of spearheading activities not in line with the constitution of the Edo Tipper Drivers Association and in many instances detrimental to the well-being of its members.

Reacting to a recent protest march by some persons led by Aigbekean to the Edo State House of Assembly, making false allegations against the association and its executive officials, Uhunmwangho said, “The protest is of no value as Aigbekaen has been under a four-year suspension and cannot have any input in the association’s activities and that most of those that joined him in the protest march are not known to the association.”

Comrade Uhunmwangho, who quoted Article 9 of the Association’s constitution that empowers the executive to discipline any erring member, said, “Osaro Aigbekaen’s suspension was legal and binding.”

He alleged that Aigbekean brainwashed some members of the association by selling a dummy to them that the present executive was trying to elongate its tenure from four to five years knowing well that the executive was working according to the amended constitution, which reduced the two terms tenure of four years each to five years single.

According to Uhunmwangho, Aigbekaen cannot deny knowledge of the newly amended constitution, yet he openly embarked on rebellion against the duly elected executive of the association by making futile attempts to forcefully take over the executive whose five-year single tenure was yet to expire as contained in Article 6 of the association’s constitution.

“If Osaro was actually contesting in an election, who were the members of the electoral committee that screened him and who are his fellow contestants?” he asked.

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According to the chairman, apart from staging a coup against the executive, Osaro Aigbekaen and his group have also petitioned the Edo State House of Assembly as well as threatened to burn down the association’s secretariat and this threat has been reported to the law enforcement agents.

“The association is getting set to holding its elections come the 19th of November as the executive officials of the association have not yet completed their mandatory five years tenure,” he stressed.

Other zonal chairmen from Edo Central and other parts of the state corroborated the five-year tenure as stated in the amended constitution.

Comrade Uhunmwangho listed some milestone achievements of his executive to include a befitting secretariat building billed for commissioning soon by Governor Godwin Obaseki, payment of monthly stipends to old members of the association who no longer drive, reclaiming of plots of land owned by members through legal means, among others.

The meeting was attended by over 200 member of the association including immediate, past and serving chairmen from across the state.

The tipper driver’s chairman used the opportunity to call the attention of the security agencies to what he called threat to his life and that of members of his family, which had been circulating through phone messages and messages on social media, saying the association will resist all the illegal moves against it.

However, Aigbekaen, while reacting via telephone, insisted that Uhunmwangho and his executive were acting in disobedience to a valid court order which had clearly directed a stay of all action pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice, he filed, insisting that, his suspension was null and void.

Aigbekaen said, “I wish to also by this medium let the public know that Comrade Austin Nosakhare Uhunmwangho and his cohorts are in disobedience of a valid Court order which has clearly directed a Stay of all activities pending the hearing and determination of our Motion on Notice. Hence the purported suspension of members of the Association is of no effect and should be disregarded as same is merely a ploy by Comrade Austin Nosakhare Uhunmwangho to oppress and continue to intimidate members who do not support his selfish five years ambition.”