The leadership tussle which led to the factionalization of the Association of tricycle riders transport union in Enugu state has become a thing of the past as factional leaders of the group have embraced peace and pledged their loyalties to the authentic chairman, Comrade Benjamin Ejiofor Ika, led executive.
Before peace returned to the union, Ika’s led executive was recognized by the Enugu state government.
Leaders of the factions had during the celebration of the two years anniversary of the present Comrade Ika’s led executive council held in Enugu, announced their resolve to identify and work with the leadership for the interest of the association.
Speaking during at the occasion, chairman, Comrade Ikah, described the action as a welcome development and assured all the repentant ex- factional leaders of his readiness to accord every member a sense of belonging in the activities of the association.
Ika, who used the forum to present his account of stewardship in the last two years, commended Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the role he played towards restoring peace in the union, adding that after the governor’s pronouncement in 2016 that only the Association of Tricycle Riders Transport Union was the only recognized union in business in the State, all the factional groups went underground.
He listed the abolition of use of tarpaulin cover in tricycle as one of his achievements, noting that they received reports in the past that some hoodlums were using tricycles with Tarpaulin cover to rob passengers of their valuables, adding that he personally came across one of the victims.
According to him, after receiving the report, the leadership swiftly summoned a meeting of state working committee and banned the use of tarpaulin cover in tricycles and ” this has helped to reduce tricycle crime drastically”.
Enumerating his achievement further, the chairman of the union, said on assumption of office, he noticed that the price of regular Drivers License has continued to skyrocket on yearly basis and has exposed their members to extortion and various degrees of harassment by security agents and other road users hence, they complained to Governor Ugwuanyi, who he said, is always in sympathy with indigent tricycle operators.
After their complaint, the governor, approved the introduction of Electronic Riders Permit, which is only 6,000 naira, a price he said, is lower than the Driver’s license.
On the issue of their members being harassed and extorted for picking and dropping passengers in places other than bus stops, his Exco held a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Transport during which they agreed that tricycles should operate like taxes that picks and drops passengers anywhere but must clear very well for other road users.
Ikah also commended Governor Ugwuanyi for the peace that he brought to the union and Enugu State in General, stressing that they were aware that Enugu State has been adjudged as the most peaceful state in Nigeria.
He, however, reminded the governor about tricycle loans he promised them, adding that they have already opened account and the campaign van he promised them, assuring him that the bus will help them greatly during the campaign.
In a brief remark, Governor Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Director-General of his 2019 campaign organization, Chief Chris Ugwu, had expressed appreciation to the association for their continued support to his administration, urging them to keep the flag flying.
Highlight of the event was the conferment of a merit award on the state Commissioner for transport, Mr. Vitus Okechi, who was represented by the permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Ogbonna Idike.