The leaderships of the Association of Tricycle Riders Transport Union (ATRTU), Enugu State, Motorcycle Transport Union of Enugu State, Nkanu East/West branches and the Enugu State Tipper Union of Nigeria have revealed that hoodlums have infiltrated their associations to perpetrate criminal activities in the state to tarnish their image.
They also disclosed that there are some bad eggs and criminal elements among them who are using their means of livelihood for criminal activities to the detriment of their collective image and fortunes.
The leaders of the associations made the revelation during a security meeting with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State at the Government House, Enugu, on Tuesday, following the recent ban on the operation of Tricycles, Motorcycles and Tipper-Trucks in all the communities in Nkanu East and Nkanu West local government areas and selected areas in Enugu South LGA, which was lifted by Gov. Ugwuanyi at the meeting.
In his speech, the State Chairman of ATRTU, Comrade Benjamin Ikah, said that “the association will not fold her arms and watch our long-built reputation in Enugu State being damaged by some criminals”, adding that “the association will, as usual, support the efforts of the security agencies in the state to fish out the bad eggs in our association”.
Comrade Ikah therefore condemned “in its entirety, the activities of those who use tricycles and other motorists for criminal activities in Enugu State”.
He promised that they will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the hoodlums using tricycles for criminal activities are fished out and appealed to Gov. Ugwuanyi to “tamper justice with mercy”.
Speaking on behalf of the Enugu State Tipper Union of Nigeria, the President, Mr. Andrew Nweke, pointed out that “it has been unfortunately established that our revered union which we had jealously shielded for decades has been surreptitiously infiltrated by criminal elements masquerading as genuine drivers”.
Mr. Nweke assured Gov. Ugwuanyi that “this noble union reputed for the high moral standing of the members shall no longer allow unscrupulous characters drag the golden name of the association to the mud”.
According to him, “Our union do solemnly assure our selfless and gallant security agencies of maximum support and requisite information to unravel any act of criminality within our fold.
“Our union, therefore, emphatically condemns the clandestine but criminal activities of drivers who collude with blood-sucking bandits under the cloak of Tipper Union to unleash mayhem on unsuspecting and innocent citizens”.
On their part, the leaders of Nkanu East/Nkanu West branches of Motorcycle Transport Union of Enugu State pledged that “the association shall resolutely rise to the occasion by ensuring that criminals do not succeed in dragging the image and reputation of our union to the mud”, adding that they will work closely with the security agencies and relevant state authorities to fish out the bad eggs among them.
Addressing the governor, the Nkanu West Chairman of the association, Mr. Okwudiri Eze said: “In line with this, our association shall come up with decisive measures that will ensure sanity in its membership, activities and operations.
“That no bona fide member of this association shall make himself or his services available for any criminal activity, whether by direct involvement or aiding and abetting.
“Sir, the saying goes that to err is human, to forgive is divine; we therefore passionately appeal to you as our father to temper justice with mercy. We promise to turn a new leaf”.
In their communiqué issued at the end of a joint meeting prior to the meeting with the governor, the three associations adopted measures to actualize their mandate of enhancing the security of the state, appealing to the security agencies and the Local Government Council Chairmen to cooperate with them in their efforts to fish out the bad eggs among them.
Lifting the ban, Gov. Ugwuanyi urged the leaders of the associations to do all they can to religiously fulfill their promises so that they restore security and confidence of their passengers.
The governor therefore directed the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Miletus Eze to immediately prepare an Executive Order vacating the ban, amid jubilation, saying: “When you leave here, go straight and resume your businesses”.
Present at the meeting were the Director, State Security Services, Habu Daluwa, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), DCP Ahmed Garba, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Rt. Hon. Dr. Festus Uzor, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Prof. Malachy Okwueze, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Miletus Eze, and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Information, Steve Oruruo.