Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu says he has accepted the apology tendered by the national leadership of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) after a disagreement between the state government and the union.
The governor also announced a lift in the ban proscribing the activities of the union following the setting up of an interim leadership by its national leadership.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Onyebuchi Ememanka on Tuesday, the governor made this known when he received in audience the National President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Comrade Ibikunle Tajudeen Barwa, and his team at Government House Umuahia.
While noting that both parties should be partners in progress, the Governor said he expects the union to show respect for constituted authorities in the State at all times.
The statement further read, “The Governor pointed out that his administration has had a good working relationship with all Motor Unions in the State and has tried to complement their efforts by investing a lot in road infrastructure and maintenance of security, law, and order.
“Dr Ikpeazu further said that Abia is one of the states in the country with Ambulances provided by the State Government stationed strategically on the highways strictly for accident victims.
“The Governor said that he recognizes that the transport sector is important for the nation’s economy, stressing that Abia which is known for Trade and Commerce can not ignore the Transport Sector if her economy must flourish.
“Earlier in an address, the National President, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Comrade Ibikunle Tajudeen Barwa said that his visit to Abia was as a result of the misunderstanding between the State Chapter of the Union and the State Government.
“The National President informed the Governor that the Union is law-abiding and will not tolerate a situation where any of its chapters shows any form of disloyalty to any Government.
“He further informed the Governor the National Leadership of the Union has removed from office, the Eugene Eze Job led State Executive of the Union and appointed a Caretaker Committee to manage the affairs of the Union on a temporary basis pending when another substantive State Executive Council will be put in place.
“He appealed to the Governor to lift the ban on the activities of the Union in the state.
“Comrade Barwa said that the union has also written a letter of apology to the Governor over the matter and solicited his fatherly role in resolving the matter amicably.
“In an interview later, he thanked the Abia State Government for lifting the ban on the activities of the Union and assured that whatever mistakes that have been made in the past will be corrected.
“He used the forum to appeal for calm by its members and urged them to maintain the peace now that a Caretaker Committee is in charge of the union’s activities in the State.
“Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, Honorable Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, State Head of Service, Sir Onyi Wamah, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr ACB Agbazuere, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport were amongst other top officials of the State Government who witnessed the event which held at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House Umuahia.”