The hurriedly announced revised ban on motorcycles ad tricycles from some routes in Anambra State is a clever-by-half approach of playing on the intelligence of Ndi Anambra who have condemned the high-handed and unlawful moves by Anambra State government to degrade life and services in the state.
The latest statement, jointly endorsed by the Commissioners of Information and Transport claims curiously that the announcement made last Wednesday and circulated verbatim in Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) and other media outlets relevant to Anambra State covered only two roads, Enugu-Owerri Road and Enugu Onitsha Road., but was rather misconstrued by the public to include all other roads mentioned in the earlier announcement.
The roads which the two commissioners now claim were not contained in the announcement are Nnamdi Azikiwe Avenue and Arthur Eze Roads in Awka. Old Market Road, New Market Road, Oguta Road ,Borromeo-Upper Iweka-Bridgehead Road Iweka Road,Awka as well as Nnewi –Nnobi Road and Nnewi-Oba Roads in Nnewi.
This approach to information management is unethical, if not outrightly dishonest.
We state for the avoidance of doubt that every government is at liberty to duly review its policy on its own , or based on the reaction of stakeholders and the public. But none should be morally allowed to tell lies about an announcement which contents were not hidden.
For this APC calls on the Commissioner of Information to resign in order to give dignity to the office of public trust which she holds.
On the main issue, the revision which limits the restriction to two roads has only reduced the scope of the problem to deal it, but does not eliminate it in anyway.
Our earlier statement on this matter dwelt on the principle, the unlawfulness, the infringement of the Bill of Rights in the Nigerian constitution, regarding the freedom of individuals to reside, move freely and pursue means of livelihood in their chosen field or service, until abridged by a properly enacted Act of Parliament, under which any potential offender can be tried.
The second vital issue raised was the morality of government-owned tricycles displacing that of the informal sector in unfair competition, while the current operators will be short-changed.
Third issue was the security implication of turning out tens of thousands of unemployed youth at a time the drive is towards creation of jobs to occupy idle, but active youth.
We therefore standby our earlier position, even when the government has stealthily effected an amendment to reduce the scope, which can equally be reviewed upward, again without much ado, given the arbitrariness that the APGA-controlled state government has veered into.
Additionally, working on the premise that the two roads (Onitsha-Owerri and Enugu –Onitsha) ,we ask if the Anambra State Government is empowered by law to interfere with the right of citizens to use a federal road,to the extent of restricting ‘private and commercal motorcycles and tricycles’ without intervening legislation.
In the APGA State Government led by Chief Willie Obiano suggesting that no middle level transportation status should exist, and that the movement should be from walking on foot to driving cars,if private motorcyclist lose he right to ply on these roads.
We therefore in additions to requesting the commissioner for information to resign, ask the Obiano-led government of Anambra State to jettison the whole idea of persecuting the down-stream sector of the transport service which lot they have not improved, and return to the drawing board as Anambra state cannot function outside the rule of law and morality, or without recognition of the economic and security implications.
Anambra State Publicity Secretary
APC State Secretariat-Glass House
338 Ziks Avenue,Awka
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