Sokoto state government and, the National Automobile Technician Association (NATA) have locked horns over purported dissolution of the newly elected executives of the association by the former.
The association had already instituted a case before the Sokoto State High Court, challenging the action of the state government.
In the suit, the Ministry for Youth and Sport Development, the Permanent Secretary and a Director in the Ministry, Alhaji Muhammed
Ladan and Muhammad Sagir were listed as defendants.
The suit which was filed by the Zonal Vice President of the Association in charge of the Northwest and the Sokoto state chairman of NATA asked the court to determine whether the defendants have the power to dissolve the executives of a non-governmental, non- political and non-profit-making association that was registered under part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
The association also wants the court to determine whether the government has the power to appoint its leaders.
In an interview with newsmen, the state chairman of the association alleged that they were earlier invited by the permanent secretary over a purported petition against them.
“When we went to his office, the permanent secretary gave us conditions for the matter to be resolved in our favour. He said we should go to any radio station and announce our support for the ruling party in the state, which we declined.
“We are not politicians and we will resist all intimidation or attempt to drag us into partisan politics. Our members are unified on this stance,” he said.
According to him, there is no faction in NATA as insinuated by the Ministry. “Our election was very transparent, free and fair and was conducted by our national leaders in the presence of all the security agency in the state in December last year.”
However, the Permanent Secretary, Abubakar Ladan, who confirmed, the dissolution of the leadership of the association, said a caretaker committee was inaugurated involving representatives of the Ministry of Justice and security agencies in the state as well as some members of NATA.
On whether the state government has any right to interfere in the affairs of non-governmental association, Ladan said the the union was operating within the government’s territory and under its protection.
He added that the association was also registered by the Department of Youth of the ministry.
He denied allegations of coercion made by the chairman of the Association, explaining that the leadership was dissolved because it over-stayed its tenure.