As the fight between the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Transport and Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), over absolute control of ticketing deepens, the commissioner for transport, Dr. Godwin Ntukude has declared total war with anyone disturbing smooth running of transport business in the state.
Dr. Ntukudeh made this declaration during an interactive session with the state executive’s of the six transport unions at the former AKTC terminal in Uyo, recently. He said the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Transport is aware of the mutilated and fake biometric numbers, given to some tricycles by TOAN against the government’s real biometric numbers hence the security arms of government will be unleashed into the streets of Uyo to ensure sanity in the transport business.
The transport commissioner disclosed that the state government is not in position to sale tickets to motorists, but to collect road levy as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He urged the state executive unions to disassociate themselves from unpatriotic and politically unproductive person who paraded himself as the TOAN chairman to confront government as well as causing disunity in the transport sector.
He said if TOAN is a union as presumed, they should agree within their union on modalities of generating check up dues from their members away from government roads, and warned against any union interrupting motorist on government roads as they may mistakenly assault a personality who may not be a member of their union.
Dr. Ntukude condemned in strong terms the blind protest carried out by some taxi operators recently in the state and advised them to always channel their complains to the transport ministry which is vested with the responsibility to handle all transport issues in the state. He reiterated government commitment to continue on the biometric to ensure strict monitoring of the transport operators in the state, he therefore called on the six transport unions to join hands and fight any one who is out to give bad name to the transport business in the state.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), Mr. Uko Enang, has alleged that the state Commissioner for transport, Dr. Godwin Ntukude has continually refused to give his union the sense of belonging in the transport Ministry. He added that there is no way the union can get their checkup dues from members without going out on the street of Uyo.
However, the chairmen of the six transport unions has promised to be resolute and to be loyal to the state government to achieve her five points agenda, for the development of the state.