..its frivolous allegation – Osuji
By Emma Okereh
The last may not have been heard of the alleged sacking of members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers,(NURTW) Imo State Council from parks by the new park manager in the state as indications have emerged that aides of Gov Hope Uzodinma and chieftains of the ruling party were the brain behind the action.
It was gathered that some officials of the administration instigated the new park manager into going against the superior directive Gov Uzodinma handed down through the commissioner for transport, Barr Rex Anunobi requesting proper harmonization and sharing of duties between the new park manager and the NURTW members in the wake of the park managers appointment.
It was learnt that Gov Uzodinma soon after appointing Mr Ifeanyi Okafor, the state park manager convened a meeting between him and the state chairman of NURTW during which he shared duties between them and charged them to work harmoniously so as to improve the revenue profile of the state.
However, it was learnt that soon after that parley some aides of the governor comprising Commissioners and Special Advisers as well as some other chieftains of APC convened another meeting with the park manager where they managed to convince him to do away with NURTW and allocate the parks to them while assuring him of protection.
After successfully convincing the new park manager that nothing will happen to him if he
outrightly sacked NURTW members from parks, contrary to the governors instructions, Mr Okafor was said to have proceeded to share out the motor parks to them.
Sources privy to what transpired at the said meeting disclosed that one of the commissioners, Engr Ik Umeh from Ideato North was handed the park at Orie Akokwa which he also handed over to his immediate younger brother to manage; while Chief Sam Osuji from Isiala Mbano who is a Special Adviser to the governor was given Mbano parks. Also Chief Christogonus Ugochukwu Okoro, was allocated Ahiara Junction motor park; while chief Vitalis Ibe was rewarded with parks in Njaba Local Government Area, just as another chieftain whose name could not be ascertained as at press time pocketed Mbaise Park along Egbu Road
These ruling party chieftains have since allegedly used security agencies and their loyalists to forcefully eject NURTW members from parks across the state and take over the parks contrary to the directive of the governor.
On their part, members of the union rather than fight back, this newspaper gathered, opted for a diplomatic approach in tackling the problem and this, it was learnt has seen the leadership formally write the governor, the commissioner for transport and Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Imo State to register their protest and demand for reinstatement.
Sources further revealed that both the governor and his transport commissioner are uncomfortable with the step taken by the new park manager and have consequently, moved to restore harmony and peace to the state’s road transport sector by way of integrating the NURTW into the scheme of things
When contacted on phone, Engr Umeh described the allegation as the handiwork of the opposition and his enemies pointing out that he never gave his brother any motor park to manage.
He added that the new park manager who is also from Ideato North gave his brother the job as compensation for supporting and working with him to deliver Gov Uzodinma in the governorship election.
Also, reacting Chief Osuji described the allegation as frivolous wondering what interest he has in motor park since he neither own buses nor runs a transport company, even as he urged the public to disregard the allegation.
Attempts made to reach others mentioned were not successful as they did not pick calls made to them.