Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

SAULA MURDER: One Killing, Too Many

SAULA MURDER: One Killing, Too Many

By Demola Yaya & Sankara

On January 7, 2008, Lagos commuters who were going for one business or the other were stranded for most part of the day especially in areas like Ikotun, Iyana Ipaja, Agege, Ikeja and Oshodi. Why? Members of Lagos State National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) had withdrawn their services and vehicles from road to protest the gruesome murder of their Chairman, Alhaji Saka Saula. Although, NURTW leadership succession has always been characterized by the use of force and balance of terror, the manner with which Saula was killed was alien to NURTW leadership bid.

In front of his residence at about 9.30pm on January 6, 2008, Saula was gunned down by several rain of bullets from his assailants. Until his murder, he was the acting state Chairman of NURTW in Lagos State and was noted by his members as a generally nice person who was always willing to assist the needy both in his personal and official capacity.

In his lifetime as a leader of NURTW in Lagos State, Saula used to give solidarity and support for masses struggle and general strikes especially against hike in the prices of fuel. He had, during the general strikes, addressed the striking workers and masses in support of the strike. This explains why Labour and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) and Joint Action Forum (JAF) representatives paid a condolence visit to NURTW office in Lagos State in recognition of Saula’s pro-working class orientation. His killing is a loss to the ranks of LASCO and working class in general.

Although, the police had arrested some elements including Ogun State Chairman of NURTW in relations to Saula’s murder, they are not known for unraveling or bringing to book killers in the past. In the last eight years for instance, many frontline politicians had been murdered without their killers ever caught or brought to book despite promises from the police. About 3 weeks before his murder, Saula’s Deputy had also died in a mysterious circumstance, allegedly of food poison. Adieu Saula.