The Deputy General Manager Traffic And Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State Comrade Smart Uwakwe was allegedly mobbed today by members of a Tricycle Union in Abia state known as ATRIWA.
Below is the full text of a Press Release Made available to Abia Pulse News by Comrade Smart Uwakwe:
My Name is Smart Uwakwe, I am the Deputy General Manager of Traffic And Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State – TIMAAS.
This is an official statement of what transpired today 21st May 2020, between me, my staff and Tricycle Operators Under the aegis of ATRIWA at Isi gate Umuahia.
At about 10:00am today, I received a call from the Umuahia Chapter Chairman of one of the Tricycle Unions in Abia state, ATRIWA, Mr. Chinomso who called to plead on behalf of their member who drove against traffic (ONE WAY) and was apprehended by our men on duty.
As at the time he called, our workers had already issued a government ticket to the erring Keke Rider and I told him that I can’t alter a government ticket, that it is already beyond me.
Few minutes later, Barr. St. Moses Ogbonna, the State Chairman of the same ATRIWA also called me over the same issue and I also explained my predicament to him, that the office had already issued a government ticket to the offender, and he said I should find a way to assist him.
They wanted and pressured me to alter the ticket the Agency had issued but there was no way I was going to pay for the mistakes of another.
Few minutes after dropping that call, another call came in from my men on duty, informing me that ATRIWA executives and Keke riders are holding them hostage, ordering us to release the Keke in our custody or else they will not release our men. That they had blocked Isi-gate and the adjourning streets and are mobbing my workers and harassing other road users.
One of the personal oaths I took is to never abandon my men in the field, through thick and thin.
So I drove down to Isi-gate, packed my Car and started engaging their Executive.
At a point, seeing the pandemonium and the chaos that could emanate from the face-off and after informing my Superiors, we released the said Tricycle to the executives of ATRIWA, after they had agreed to abide by Government laid down rules of obeying traffic rules and regulations which will also Forestall the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.
My efforts to address them as a body, and at least create some awareness on safety measures met a brick wall and serious mob action and physical assault on me and my men.
We decided to take our leave after their Executives assured us that they will work on their members to be law abiding through this period the world is facing a Global health crisis.
Only for me to get to where I parked my car to see that the 4 tyres of my car and that of the 2 operational vehicles my men were working with, had been deflated.
We did not quarrel or raise eye brows about it, we saw it as a mob action knowing that what really they wanted from us was just a little reaction for them to justify what would have been a blood bath and the lynching of my men.
Again we left the scene in search of Vulcanizers, thinking that they had done their worst, only to return with the Vulcanizers to see my car and the 2 operational vehicles in Ruins.
They had shattered all the glasses, carted away valuables in my car and which I am yet to ascertain, took away the batteries, spare tires, Jack’s and the doors of the mini buses my men use as operational vehicles.
It is unfortunate that Tricycle operators would constitute themselves into such a nuisance to the society to the extent of assaulting and molesting Government workers on official duty.
I urge law enforcement agents to expedite action towards bringing the perpetrators of this dastardly act to book while waiting for Government Action on this matter.