NURTW washes hands off Kaduna protest

Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 25 July 2017 | 1,671 times

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•Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.


 The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has distanced its members from the purported protest on alleged high fines on commercial vehicles in the state.

Some commercial vehicle drivers on Monday morning protested in some parts of Kaduna metropolis against alleged high charges and fine on offences by state Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA).

Abba Maliki, a private cab driver at Sabon Tasha, had alleged that KASTELEA officials collect a fine ranging from N20,000 to N30,000 from each driver and “that was the genesis of our protest.”

“But we don’t have any problem with the KASTELIA officials operating along Nnamdi Azikwe Express Way.

“The state government should immediately intervene over some of the KASTELEA officials exorbitant charges.

“We are also appealing to the state government to reduce the fines, especially considering the economic situation in the country,” he said.

But, the NURTW executives, led by Alhassan Haruna, the state Chairman, immediately addressed a joint press conference with the General Manager of KASTELEA, saying that the drivers protesting the high charges were not members of the union.

“We have a good working relationship with the management of KASTELEA. If we have any complain on any of its policies against our members, we have a channel of laying our complaints.

“Those commercial vehicle drivers are just some miscreants forcing passengers to disembark and forcing some innocent drivers to put leaves on their vehicles. They are not our members and are not from the state. They came from somewhere to cause problem in the state,” he said.

“I am therefore, calling on our members to be law-abiding and distance themselves from the protest and channel any of their complaints to the leadership of the union,” he added.

Zakari Ahmed, General Manager of KASTELEA, said the group of miscreants blocking the road were probably instigated by some opposition.

He said the union could write to the state House Assembly or to the government on any complain about the policies that affected their members.

He said the charges had been enforced for long, and wondered why there should now be an arranged protest by people who were not even from the state and were not members of the NURTW.

“This could be a strategy by the opposition for some hooligans to stay by the road to force passengers out of commercial vehicles.

“Behind that individual factor is what we are interested to know. This issue has gone beyond this; it is now a security issue,” he added.

Commercial vehicles and tricycles have however resumed normal business activities after a few minutes protest in the morning.

Some vehicles are however still hanging leaves by their windscreen as they continue their operations around Ahmadu Bello Way, Junction Road, Yakubu Gowon Way, Nnamdi Azikwe Way, Constitution Road, Ali Akilu Road and Independence Way.

Source: News Express

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