ISAAC OJO writes that the Fairly Used Motorcycle Dealers Association (FUMDA) has declared war on touts and criminal elements operating in the section of Nnewi main market.
The chairman of the association, Mr Eleoka Ubajekwe who was addressing his members during their monthly prayer session said there is need to tackle the criminal elements particularly the touts popularly called ‘Nzama’ has become imperative because of the bad image they are giving the genuine traders.
Mr Ubajekwe who said the association is not driving anyone out of the market directed the touts to take to trades like mechanic, electrician and other opportunities available in the market rather than defrauding unsuspecting customers.
His words: “We have gotten so many reports of customers getting lower grade motorcycles after paying for quality motorcycle because of the activities of the touts who deceive customers by taking them to a shop where quality motorcycles are sold, get the correct price and then take the unsuspecting customer to another shop where poor quality motorcycles are gotten at a little less the price of grade 1.
“The most unfortunate thing is that by the time the bubble bursts, these criminal elements would have squandered the money they illegally gotten through deceit and it will then become the responsibility of the association to be settling matter it knew nothing about how it started,” he explained.
As part of measure to ensure compliance, FUMDA has instituted a fine of N50,000 for any tout caught in the act even as he said his association would partner with the military, police, DSS, Civil Defence and the vigilante groups in the state to flush out those who bent on giving bad image to the section of the market.
Mr Ubajekwe said that it has become mandatory for wheel barrow pushers operating in the market to have a visible union which will issue uniforms, identification numbers as well as sureties so as to put an end to the situation where some unscrupulous wheel barrow pushers steal goods of customers in broad day light.
He also noted that some people into insurance have started giving fake plate numbers and other registration materials to customers and that about seventy fake plate numbers were discovered from some of them when the security operatives came calling.