Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has lifted the ban proscribing the activities of the State Chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
Governor Ikpeazu announced this when he received in audience the National President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Comrade Ibikunle Tajudeen Barwa and his team at the Government House, Umuahia.
Abia State Government had on Sunday, said it had uncovered plots by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Self Acquired Tricycle Owners Association (SATOA), led by Mr Eugene Job to unleash mayhem on the people of the state under the guise of a protest against the ban on activities of the two groups.
The state government in a statement signed by its Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, strongly warned that the government will hold Mr Eugene Job responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the state under whatever guise.
Kalu noted that security agencies have been placed on alert to ensure the protection of law-abiding citizens and residents, as well as arrest and prosecute anyone involved in the planned unlawful protest.
Speaking further, Governor Ikpeazu, said that he has accepted the apology of the National Leadership of the Union regarding the misunderstanding between the State Government and the Union’s Chapter in the State, adding that both parties should be partners in progress.
The Chief Executive Officer of Abia State, who disclosed that since the National Leadership has, in its wisdom, set up a Caretaker Committee to superintend over the activities of the union in the State for some time, said he expects the union to show respect for constituted authorities in the State at all times.
He pointed out that his administration has had good working relationship with all Motor Unions in the State and has tried to complement their efforts by investing a lot in road infrastructure and maintenance of security, law and order.
The Governor further said that Abia is one of the states in the country with ambulances provided by the State Government stationed strategically on the highways strictly for accident victims.
The number one citizen of the State, said that he recognizes that the transport sector is important for the nation’s economy, stressing that Abia which is known for Trade and Commerce cannot ignore the Transport Sector if her economy must flourish.
Earlier in an address, the National President, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Comrade Ibikunle Tajudeen Barwa said that his visit to Abia was as a result of the misunderstanding between the State Chapter of the Union and the State Government.
The National President informed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu that the Union is law abiding and will not tolerate a situation where any of its chapters shows any form of disloyalty to any Government.
Barwa further informed the Governor the National Leadership of the Union has removed from office, the Eugene Eze Job led State Executive of the Union and appointed a Caretaker Committee to manage the affairs of the Union on a temporary basis pending when another substantive State Executive Council will be put in place
He appealed to the Governor to lift the ban on the activities of the Union in the state.
Comrade Barwa said that the union has also written a letter of apology to the Governor over the matter and solicited his fatherly role in resolving the matter amicably.
In an interview later, he thanked the Abia State Government for lifting the ban on the activities of the Union and assured that whatever mistakes that have been made in the past will be corrected.
He used the forum to appeal for calm by its members and urged them to maintain the peace now that a Caretaker Committee is in charge of the union’s activities in the State.