2019: Akwa Ibom Transporters Shut Down Uyo For Udom Emmanuel
Business activities were nearly stalled on Saturday in Akwa Ibom State, as transporters thronged the major streets of Uyo, the State capital, in their thousands in a carnival to show support and solidarity to the Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel.
They cited his fair taxation scheme that stopped them from fraudulent multiple levies of N4,500 to a single daily N200 levy, maintaining that the free tax days introduced on weekends and holidays also accounts for the massive profits in their kitty.
Governor Udom Emmanuel, who addressed the transporters at the Ibom Hall Grounds, through his Deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, said that with the support from the transporters, there was no longer any facet of the society that has not thrown its weight on the second term bid.
Mr Ekpo assured that Governor Emmanuel was more strenghtened to carry out his development and people-oriented programmes in the state.
In his opening remarks, Commissioner for Transport and Petroleum Resources, Hon. Orman Esin, amidst cheers and ovation from the transport workers, commended them for their sincerity in appreciating the Governor, and assured them that the Governor was their number one fan.
He said they came out in their thousands to say thank you to the Governor for the tremendous developments he has brought to and putting structures in the transport sector, which they said is a major sector of the state, must importantly the declaration of free ticket days on Saturdays and public holidays for the transporters, as well as regulating the ticketing system.
The transporters including motorcyclists from neighbouring towns like Ikot Ekpene, Eket, Abak, tricycle operators, bus drivers and heavy duty vehicles operators in their various unions such as National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Akwa Ibom Motorcycle Transport Association (AMOTA), TOAN, KORA, drove round the streets, singing in appreciation to the Governor and dancing in joy of the good roads and other enablers that have encouraged them in their businesses.
Speaking on behalf of all groups of transporters in the state, Mr. Etim said that the reason they want Gov Emmanuel to return to the Hilltop Mansion come 2019 is because unity and improvement he has brought to the sector.
He said that in past, transporters in the state would go out for the daily routine and return unsuccessful owning to the outrageous ticketing, but since the Governor came into power, there have been tremendous development in the sector as they return home with good and reasonable amount daily.
“Gone are the days, in 2011 to be precise, that Keke operators would buy tickets from 15 local governments at about N4,500 in a whereas they could not boast of N5,000, and would return home with only N500. But since Udom Emmanuel came on board, he reduced the ticket tariff to N200.
“We are not supporting the Governor because he wants to go for second term, but because of industrialization. Before now, Keke operators could not access Okokon Etuk Street along Oron Road, Aka Road and many other streets across the state. Today, all those streets have been constructed with drains and that has eased their operations.
“We are also supporting Udom Emmanuel for second term because of total eradication of cultism in the state. As of 2014 and 2015, transporters could not operate from 6am to 7pm especially those with new tricycles in the fear of cultists on the streets who would forcefully snatch their tricycles.”
Mr Etim noted that transporters are known not to be sycophants but those who remain where they choose to stand. Today, with every sense of seriousness, sincerity and truth, they have declared that transporters are for Udom Emmanuel come 2019.
Highpoint of the event was a vote of endorsement on the Governor, to the general acceptance of the gathering.