In most parts of Oyo State, the mere mention of the name “Auxiliary” sends shivers down the spines of people. Before he became the Chairman of a faction of the Oyo State Chapter of the infamous National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Mukaila Lamidi, better known as Auxiliary was one of the most dreaded men in Ibadan and environs. Those who didn’t know him were able to put a face to the name way back in 2007 when he was apprehended by the then GOC of the 2 Division of the Nigerian Army along Iwo Road with a pump action rifle and about fourteen rounds of ammunition while the Governorship election was going on. He was the most dreaded member of the union in view of his ruthlessness.
In an interview on a radio programme in Ibadan, Auxiliary stunned listeners when he declared that he worked for Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the present Governor of Oyo State. Lamidi answered most of the questions from the reporter in smattering English language, which was understandable because after his primary education at Nawar ud Deen School in Inalende, Auxiliary became an attendant at a car wash around Mokola and later became an apprentice mechanic. He later joined the Transport Union as a garage boy in Ojoo. He was first nicknamed “Dagger” because of his dexterity at handling knives during fights, but after a few skirmishes, the nickname was changed to “Auxiliary”, because he operated like the extra gear on motor vehicles which enables them move in any terrain. Auxiliary is known to be able to operate anywhere without being arrested.
He and his late boss, Lateef Salako Elewe Omo led the team that stormed the Oyo State House of Assembly on Tuesday June 8, 2010 beating up Honourable members and stripping one of them naked in the process.
In the course of the interview, Auxiliary was asked why he has not been staying in Ibadan. His response was “it is because of what Alhaji Lateef Akinsola Tokyo came to do in our garage at Iwo Road. You know that at that time, all we wey be National Union, we have to support any government of the day, either we like it or not”
“So you supported Akala and you worked for Akala?” the interviewer queried. “Yes, I supported Akala. I worked for Akala because I am a PDP member.”
“Are you still a PDP member?” the reporter probed further. Auxiliary answered in the affirmative. Then came the question, “are you going to ACN?” The question seemed to stir something in the former NURTW boss as he responded “no I am not like that, even though our Excellency Governor Ajimobi is my really (sic) brother and father. I worked with him for three years.” Apparently out of surprise, the reporter asked again, “you worked for Ajimobi?” to which he replied “yes, he is my good brother.”
The interviewer fired again, “what did you do for him?” Reverting to pidgin English, Auxiliary said “I used to go there, I used to follow him the time wey he dey for Senator. Not for thug o. somebody take us to there, the Assembly send us out of garage so we dey with Baba Adedibu. So when Senator travel, we will go and stay for his house with his wife till when he come back on Saturday. So he use to give us money to eat at that time”. Auxiliary who admitted that he was poor at that time was asked “you are a very rich man now. Akala made you a rich man, right?” His response was brief and sharp, “I thank God as He made me. My work and Allah made me a rich man.” As expected, his answer prompted the next question, “what kind of work do you do?” Again, reacting sharply, Auxiliary responded “I am a driver. I am a professional driver sir.” When it was put to him that no one has seen him driving on the roads, he said “I am now a transporter.”
Having stated that he has four buses, the interview queried, “how can Auxiliary have four buses? What happened to the many buses you had on the road?” Again in Pidgin English, Auxiliary said he sold most of them when he left the office of the Chairman. And what does he do now? Auxiliary said he is a businessman.
Then came another question, “are you a killer?” Auxiliary maintained his cool and answered, “no, I am not a killer. I have never killed a goat, not even a fowl. You can ask people.”
“Who killed people in Iwo Road? Who killed a medical student?” the reporter fired again. “It is a lie” Auxiliary replied and the reporter went on, “people said you were seen holding AK-47 in Iwo Road.” Alhaji Lamidi wasted no time in denying the allegation, saying “I never hold gun in my life. All my life, I never hold gun. You can never see me with gun.”
Auxiliary later took on his one-time boss; Alhaji Tokyo who he said never wanted his boys to rise. “He used to use us. Even though they give us N 10,000, Alhaji Tokyo will collect it. Alhaji Tokyo don’t like make anybody give us money, he will collect it,” Auxiliary said. “Did you complain?” the interviewer asked. An apparently shocked Auxiliary answered “ehn! Who born our father to complain? No, no, you can’t complain. Nobody fit talk.”
“If you complain, what would have happened?” the interviewer asked. Auxiliary said “ah! He go tell you say NURTW work belongs to his father, so you will leave the work and he will try to drive you in your house. Ah! Alhaji Tokyo is a wicked man.”
He was asked again, “were you not the political thug that denied Oyo State peace? Were you not the one that led boys to the House of Assembly to beat up Honourable Members like Nafiu Baale?” Again, Auxiliary denied, “no, not at all. I was not in Ibadan at that time”, he said. Apparently remembering the Tuesday, June 8, 2010 mayhem, the interviewer asked again “can you remember Nafiu Baale?” A swift reply came from Auxiliary, “I remember. He is my man”. The interviewer pressed further, “are you not the one that stripped him naked?” Again, there was a denial, “I am not the person. I am not the type. I am a gentleman.” When the reporter again put it across to Auxiliary that people said they saw him, he again claimed he was out of Ibadan when the incident happened.
“Do you believe yourself?” the reporter asked. Trying to sound more convincing, Auxiliary replied in his characteristic smattering English, “I said I am not in Ibadan at that time. I am at Ilorin for good three months before that time. When Governor Ladoja drive everybody from garage, everybody has scatter. I now came back; I heard that some people went to fight in Secretariat. I am not there. I am with my brother in Ilorin.”
The dreaded man even went as far as describing himself as a gentleman; he said the noise about his person came from people who wanted to be his friends. When the reporter asked “where are your guns?” his response was “I don’t have any gun. I am a cool gentleman. People like me in my area. You know that if you are not my friend and I want to be your friend, I can make your name good or I can make your name bad. That is why people are shouting my name. When you are going, anywhere you reach, just ask of Auxiliary. I am not a bad man. Tokyo caused all this trouble for me.”
He was asked if he still wants to be the Chairman of the NURTW, he was quick to reply, “no, no. I am their stakeholder. I can give them advice.” The next question was “you don’t want Tokyo to be the Chairman?” to which he said “I pray to God, he will not reach there, lai lai for life.” Asked for his message for the friends and relatives of those who lost their lives in the NURTW mayhem, Auxiliary said “I don’t know anything about it”. It was however put to him that “but you heard that people died”. He said “I heard but I am not in Ibadan by that time. What I can tell people wey their peoples die is that Allah will put cold water in their mind and they will never ever in their life see this kind of thing again.”