- Allege displacement of NURTW members
- Accuse him of handling over parks to Anambra ‘money bags’
Imo park manager, Chief Ifeanyi Okafor, has been accused of setting up illegal parks through those he contracted to be overseeing the operation of motor parks in the state.
Speaking to Edge Express at the weekend, a taxi-imo driver who identified himself as Obi Onuoha, alledged that since Okafor assumed duty as the manager of Imo park ,the number of illegal parks in Imo have multiplied drastically. He linked such absurd multiplication to the wrong decision of handing over motor parks to non-members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and non Imo indigenes.
According to Onuoha,Imo parks are being managed presently by ‘money bags’ businessmen from Anambra who paid five hundred thousand to one million naira to have control of the parks. They have resorted to turning areas not designated(not part of the arrangement) as parks . This he said is to enable them recover the money they invested.
In his own claims ,another taxi-imo driver, Mr Tochi alledged that members of the Imo NURTW who are conversant with the management of parks were displaced by the newly appointed Imo park manager, who instead of appointing Imolites to manage the parks, brought in his friends from Anambra, thereby rendering Imolites jobless.
He said, “Unless Imo people spoke with one voice and stop Okafor, the intimidation and harassment seen on daily basis from externals handling Imo parks and their agents would continue.” He therefore called on the state governor, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, to intervene and save them from multiple extortions.
Also speaking, Ugonna Egejuru, a bus driver, said he has operated for more than 10 years in Imo, but has never experience the ills they are passing through in the hands of those contracted to be managing Imo parks.
He alleged that multiple taxes are on the increase on daily basis, calling on the Transport Commissioner, Rex Anunobi to intervene and save Imo from plugging into crisis that could be difficult to manage as a result of highhandedness of the new park manager.
Recall that the leadership of NURTW recently raised the alarm over 25,000 of their workers allegedly sacked by Okafor. This attracted the intervention of the State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC),Comrade Austin Chilakpu who visited the Commissioner for Transport, Rex Anunobi to resolve the issue.
Though the park manager, Okafor denied sacking members of NURTW, however, officials of the body insist their members were sacked.
Meanwhile, all efforts to contact Okafor proved abortive as he did not pick his calls nor return our calls as at the time of filling this report.
But when contacted ,the chairman of Imo NURTW, Comrade Izuchukwu Bora who acknowledge that illegal parks have multiplied in the state , insisted that 25,000 workers of Imo NURTW were displaced. He said, “We have a governor who has the interest of Imolites at heart. He is a seasoned lawmaker and we have confidence that he would restore the 25,000 Imo workers who were illegally sacked and restore sanity in the parks.”