Passengers stranded as transport companies withdraw services in Ebonyi

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Passengers were on Thursday stranded in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital following the withdrawal of services by transport companies.

The development, Newspot observed, paralysed most business activities in the state.

Recall that the national leadership of the Association of Mass Transit Operators (AMTO) had on Wednesday threatened to withdraw services from Ebonyi following an alleged attack and destruction of valuable properties belonging to its members in the state.

The Chairman, Gregory Inyaba, alleged that there is sealing of parks in Abakaliki by the government, adding that such move caused unprovoked attacks on the staff, facilities and vehicles of transport firms by persons suspected to be agents working for the state.

Newspot gathered that the state government had asked transport companies to relocate to a central park designated for them, but had refused to do so after a six-month notice.

But Inyaba, said the attacks were unprovoked, unwarranted and amounted to open hostility to business and investment, hence the boycott.

According to him, members of Public Transport Owners Association of Nigeria, were also part of the boycott decision.

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According to Inyaba, “From today, Thursday, October 7, 2021, no commercial vehicle shall go to Ebonyi or leave the state.

“The government of Ebonyi State has asked us to leave the state and we have no choice but leave the state for them henceforth.

“Vehicles belonging to members, with passengers, from other states were similarly attacked on Wednesday as a result of this development.

“How can you attack vehicles coming into Ebonyi with passengers from other states?

“It means we can’t bring in people in safety and comfort, and that is a declaration of hostility.

“We have directed members of all transport unions in other states of the country to note the directive to boycott Ebonyi State from Thursday, and comply accordingly.

“Do not load passengers from anywhere to Ebonyi State, and members who are inside Ebonyi State must not load passengers out of the state, no matter the circumstances,” he warned.

In a swift reaction, the Commissioner for Capital City Development, in the state, Barr. Onyekachi Nwebonyi, said the parks were sealed following refusal by the transport companies to move to the central park, designated by the state government for them.

According to him, the state government had, since six months ago, written to them to relocate to the general park, but all efforts to relocate them failed.

“The intention of the state government is to reclaim the original master-plan of the capital city. There is no going back on the relocation of the parks,” he stressed.

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