2019: Udom All The Way, No Negotiation –Tricycle Operators
…As Governor Emmanuel Announces Health Insurance Scheme For Transporters
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
Tricycle operators, on Wednesday, stormed the Akwa Ibom State Government House gate declaring their unwavering support to the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for his second term come 2019.
The solidarity visit was to thank the Governor for the appointment of Hon. Orman Esin as the Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, and abolishing tickets during holidays and weekends for the tricycle (Keke) operators.
Chairman, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), Effiong Etim Effiong, said: “We are here to congratulate Governor Udom Emmanuel for giving the transport sector a vibrant leader in person of Hon. Orman Esin. I also thank the Governor for eradicating touts from the streets because in past, the union was under bondage with exploitation and extortion to the extent that before the closing of the day, you will be made to let go of N2,000 daily making it difficult for Keke riders to cater for their families.
“Today, Governor Emmanuel has done so much by removing the touts from the streets and we are very happy about that as Keke operators. There have been the cases of people printing fake tickets and sell, but thank God they have been dissolved.”
Also speaking, Chairman, Ticket Sellers Association, Edet Akpan, congratulated the Governor for stopping sales of tickets during holidays and weekends, which deprived them of the time to take care of themselves during the former commissioner’s regime.
Elder Udo Usoro, NATO Chairman, Akwa Ibom State branch, said: “We are here to showcase our solidarity to our Governor and the Honour Commissioner for Transports and Petroleum Resources, Hon. Orman Esin. We are here to pass our vote of confidence on the Governor for what he has done for the transport sector especially in the areas of ticketing, collection of money and illegal taxation.”
Governor Udom Emmanuel, in his response, thanked the tricycle operators coming together for a common cause and expressed the readiness of his government to do more for the people of Akwa Ibom. He also announced plan to institute a health insurance scheme for Keke riders.
“Let me first of all thank you especially during the May Day celebration. Some of the most colourful groups I saw were the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) and Keke Operators and Riders Association (KORA). I really admired your uniforms that day and you were very organised.
“When I was an aspirant for the governorship seat, you people were organised yourselves, came and passed a vote of confidence and made a pronouncement that I must contest election. I want to thank you for being organised because anybody coming into the state always describe you people as being well organised, highly focused and result-oriented people.
“There is a scheme that we are currently working which we call Insurance Scheme in appreciation to you people which will cover anybody involved in an accident. Off course you can’t rule out accident even in the house. Through your formidable organisation, crime rate has reduced in the state because good people are now in charge of transportation. All the complaints we used to hear are no more there.
“When the Commissioner for Transportation and Petroleum Resources, Orman Esin came to me concerning you people, I asked him what you people needed. He suggested the abolishment of holidays and weekends tickets and I gave him the go-ahead.
“Expect something greater than that. It was a movement like this that spurred me into this office, and today you people have come to pass vote of confidence on me for second term. Now that you people have given me the go-ahead, and the voice of men is the voice of God, I promise you without mincing words that under this government, people will graduate from tricycle riders to car owners.
“You people have challenged me today to work harder for everybody. We roll on fairness, justice and equity. Others would have sat down and have self-pity, but people have shown that this is evidence of Dakkada. When you rise to the faith, God will support you. You are all great men and women,” the Governor said.