Bus owners, drivers protest against restriction in Abuja

The restriction will take effect from June 3.

Members of Owners and Drivers of Mini-Buses Association, Abuja, on Tuesday protested at the National Assembly against plan by Abuja administration to stop them from operating in the metropolis.

The Transport Secretariat of the Abuja administration has expressed the intention to confine the operations of the mini-buses to the satellite towns.

The policy, which suffered initial indefinite postponement, is expected to begin on June 3.

The protesters carried banners some of which read: “We are Nigerians, give us our right to work please”, “We are not in military regime”, “The new policy on transport is obnoxious.” and “It is not mass friendly”.

A member of the association, Paul Omeire, said that the objective of the protest was to intimate the National Assembly to prevail on the Abuja administration to change the policy.

He said about 62,000 drivers and conductors would be denied their daily bread by the time the policy began.

Mr. Omeire said: “We are members of Owners and Drivers Association, and we operate the town service. We own the buses and drive them. Our problem is with the Transport Secretariat of the FCT (Abuja).”

“The new transport policy is that that we should stop operation in the city on June 3 and this means that thousands of drivers and conductors, with their families, will suffer.

“We create jobs and we don’t know why they want to create joblessness.”

“In many cities across the world, small, big buses as well as taxis operate without hindrance, why should it be different in Abuja. All we want is peaceful coexistence,” he added.

Mr. Omeire said that in the alternative, the Abuja administration could build motor parks and garages in the city where the mini-buses could utilise to end the “disturbance” being complained about.


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