By Patrick Obia
Following the recent incident that led to the death of a trader, Mr. Michael Essien by the officials of the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT), at Watt market, Calabar, the Chairman, National Union of Shops and Distributive Employees, Mr. Celestine Ofoma , has said the traders will react when the time comes.
The chair gave this warning while speaking on Hit 95.9 FM regular Sunday program, “The Dialogue With Agba Jalingo” where he said if the late Michael’s pregnant wife and four kids are not properly taken care of, the Union will come after the Government.
“The family of this young man should be taken care of. The family will suffer; the wife is pregnant and has four children. Government should do something about it; let me tell you the truth we are just holding our peace and watching Government. The traders will react when the time comes, we are watching.”
Mr. Celestine alleged that DOPT official were collecting #200 from traders every day since they have not been paid.
“The DOPT as a body does not give tickets but the body that are working for DOPT are collecting two hundred naira everyday from every trader in that market; confirm what am telling you and I have confronted the officials of DOPT and they told me that since they have not been paid that is the only way they can go home with something.” He affirmed.
Speaking on sad tone, the Secretary, Board of Trustees Capital Traders Umbrella Association, Mr. Goodwill Bendie, warned that the blood of the late Odukpani Michael Essien should be the first and the last of any trader in the market.
“Let us believe that the blood of Michael should be used as the first and the last to be sacrificed for the DOPT to kill any other Trader again. We the traders we have exercised so much patience that they come to lock our gate; the gate that the people are passing and patronizing us. First of all inform us why our gates should be locked.”
However, a legal practitioner, Akwaji Donhenry, said they are resolute with the Government and if allowed, will be swept under the carpet and nothing will be down about it.
“We are resolute, we have decided to come up with an action against the State Government because the act of its agent according to his directive and so we cannot leave the victim to Mercy of Government because they are going to sweep it under the carpet, we know them. Very soon they will hear from us. We are coming up with fundamental human right actions so that they can make provisions for the remaining family members.”
On the same vein, Mr. Andem Ededem, who is the President, Capital Traders Umbrella Association, called on government to place the children of the late trader on scholarships and the wife given automatic employment.
Meanwhile the Director General of DOPT Godwin Nyiam, refused to show up as close source to CrossRiverWatch revealed that he was told not to show up from higher authority having agreed at first.
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