Abakaliki–Ebonyi state government on Wednesday dissolved the leadership of tricycle operators in the state over a protest the union staged in front of the state government House earlier in the day.
The Senior Special Assistant(SSA) to governor David Umahi on Internal Security, Kenneth Ugbalah ,announced the dissolution on behalf of the government shortly after addressing the protesters.
Ugbalah said that the government took the decision to save the union from protracted leadership squabbles which he said was beginning to impinge on the security and tranquility of the state.
Ugbalah who described the protest as peaceful, noted that the protest was not against the good government and leadership of governor David Umahi , but an attempt to draw the attention of the government to the questionable activities of some of their leaders which he said had led to factions in the union.
He said that it was the duty of the state government to ensure the maintenance of peace and security within the shores of the state, adding that the government would not hesitate to come down on anybody or group of persons trying to breach the peace of the state.
In his words “offcourse they are not protesting against the good administration of the governor David Umahi Nweze,but they just want the government to be aware of what some of their leaders are doing which has fictionalised the union.The leadetship tussle has been an issue for while now and the government has been mediating on it to make sure that they work together.
” But over six month now,the matter has been on and it has even gotten to the court ,And court had also given judgement on the matter,the police has been on the matter with my office, including the Commissioner for Transport and the SA on transport ;we all have been working to ensure that the matter is resolved .But it appears that the leadership of the union is stubborn as non of the factions is willing to give way for peace nor operate within the confines of the law. And now that they are trying to breach the security of the state,the best decision the government has taken is to dissolve the two factions.
“The government will make time to meet with the union and their leaders to champion a new course for their operations for the interest of the union and security of the state”
Asked to comment on the allegation by the tricycle operators that they were being over taxed,Ugbalah said that he lacks the jurisdiction to comment on the matter since he was not incharge of the state internally generated revenue (IGR).
The security aide further promised to liaise with the security agents to ensure speedy release of some of the operators allegedly arrested during the protest.
INDEPENDENT reports that Over 200 tricycle operators on Wednesday besieged the gate of Ebonyi state Government House Abakaliki in protest of what they described as excessive taxation by the state government.
The protest halted both human and vehicular movement along the ever busy Ogoja road in Abakaliki the state capital before security agents and some top government officials including the Principal Secretary to the governor, Clement Nweke ,among others came to address them.