The lingering crisis within the Akwa Ibom State Transport sector over issuing of multiple tickets to tricycle operators has taken a new dimension following the dragging of members of Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TOAN to Federal High Court sitting in Uyo.
The Applicants, Keke Owners And Riders Association, KORA, has alleged that TOAN has made illegal moves to increase payment of ticket to N900 as against N200 approved by the State Government through Ministry of Transport, thus the decision to approach the court to stop the illegal act.
The Sensor authoritatively gathered that TOAN under the leadership of its State Chairman, one Sunny Enang had in 2014 protested over multiple ticketing by the State Government and it was on resolution of the matter that all parties agreed on N200 ticket per day. KORA further alleged that TOAN is raising the levy to fund National and State executives.
Against the seeming fears of other unions within the transport sector coming up with their own tickets KORA approached the court to stop the illegal act.
Speaking with our correspondent yesterday, a member of KORA said that in as much as they are not against splinter group called TOAN, it is however against bringing the tricycle sector to the dark days in which the operators would work for few individuals who pocket the money in the name of association.
He said, “KORA observed that if TOAN succeeds in the illegal multiple ticketing in the state, it will take us to the dark days where tickets were sold at N1, 250 per day.
“By implication, other unions like NURTW, RTEAN, NATO, APCOTMA, TOWF, TUN and KORA will also sell their tickets. This is not in the interest of the owners and riders but selfish interest of TOAN. We will resist such attempt by the last drop of our blood,” the source informed our correspondent.
A memorandum of Understanding reached between transport, tricycle union leaders and the State Government on March 14, 2014, and signed by Comrade Uwem Jame for NURTW; Prince Sunday Ibanga for TOWF; Comrade Monday Emacha for APCOTMA, and Comrade Godswill Oku for RTEAN, indicates that N200 was to be paid by tricycle operators as daily ticket.
The MoU stated emphatically that the sum collectable shall be as follows: Union check-off dues payable to the State and Nation, N50; welfare of members/operators at the branches and units, N100; Revenue to Government, N50, making it a total of N200 per day.
However, in a recent interview with our correspondent, the State Chairman of TOAN, Comrade Sunny Enang, denied attempt to levy keke operators. He said that KORA was working for the state against interest of the tricycle operators. This, the leaders of KORA have also denied.