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Commercial motor cycle riders otherwise known as Okada riders in Eleme Local Government Area have protested against illegal taxation and high rate of ticket sales in the area by their union and agents said to be collecting toll for Eleme Local Government Authority.
Comrade Evangelist. Olaka P., who is the Secretary of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), motorcycle section in an interview with Inside Eleme said the Eleme Local Government Authority directed the Okada union to buy only one sticker in a year but expressed surprise that some unknown persons are bringing another sticker for the Okada union which he said is illegal.
Hear him: “Earlier this year, the Eleme Local Government Council asked us to buy sticker only once in a year, but it is very unfortunate that we have another sticker that was printed by some group of people for us to buy again, and that is why all the Okada riders have all come out to say that we cannot pay double taxation. Also some unknown boys come out to issue tally to us. We want to stop every illegal tally in Eleme Local Government Area that is why we are protesting to both Eleme Local Government Council and to the Eleme Police Division”.
He however advised all Okada men to maintain orderliness and always follow the decision of the union as they wait for their leaders to address all their complaint properly.
Solomon Bassey, one of the Okada riders in the area said all the Okada operators in Eleme are protesting against illegal taxation and unlawful selling of tickets both morning and evening in Eleme.
“Why we are protesting today is because we have bought local government sticker before and not up to five months they are still asking us to buy another sticker, so everybody have stopped work today to join us in this protest, so as to stop all this illegal taxation, and also we do buy ticket everyday both morning and night and the load is much on us”, he lamented.
Another Okada rider who is an indigene of Eleme, Nwafor condemned the high rate of taxation demanded from Okada riders in Eleme Local Government Area. He pointed out that in Okrika and other neighbouring local government areas, Okada men buy ticket for N300.00 but that in Eleme, they buy ticket up to N2,000.00 daily. His word: “The rate of ticket for bike men in Eleme is very high, in a day we buy ticket up to two thousand naira while in other local government areas around like Okrika, they sell their tickets for N300.00 and I am appealing to the local government chairman to come to our help because tickets in Eleme are turning to something else. It is not good for somebody who have childrens’ school fees to pay, house rent to pay and other things to still buy ticket up to two thousand naira daily, it is not right”, he said.
When the protesters got to the Eleme Local Government Council, there were no official of the council or a representative of the chairman of council to attend to the Okada riders and take their complaints to the appropriate quarters.
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