NewsMy Election Was Fair, Credible – Ebonyi Tipper Drivers President

My Election Was Fair, Credible – Ebonyi Tipper Drivers President

April 16, (THEWILL)- The President-elect of the Ebonyi State Tipper Drivers Union, Comrade Onicha Chinedu, has described the election that brought him into power as free, fair and credible.

The election, which was supervised by the Ministry of Works and Transport alongside security agencies last Saturday at the Pa Ngele Oruta Township Stadium, was conducted under an atmosphere devoid of rancour and acrimony.

Recall that during the election, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Stanley Lebechi Mbam, had advised the Union to ensure peaceful coexistence among themselves as part of their contribution towards sustaining sanity and development in the transport sector.

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He stated that Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru was concerned about the unnecessary squabble that has been ravaging the Union, adding that such disunity was capable of throwing the state into anarchy and thanked the Governor for his prompt intervention that has finally put to rest every form of disagreement in the Union.

The Commissioner, who was also the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, however, commended the Tipper Drivers for their peaceful disposition in the conduct of the election and urged them to continue to be law-abiding and support policies and programmes of the State Government under Governor Nwifuru.

The Secretary of the Committee, who is equally the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Transport Comrade, Monday Nkwuda, urged them to see the election as the best thing that has happened to the union as it is the only democratic process through which leadership can emerge. He urged them to embrace each other and chart a new course to move ahead with the aims and objectives of the Union.

According to the newly elected President of the Union, “Our election went successfully and all the drivers in the 13 Local Government Areas of the State participated as they went home happily as we celebrated. So, the election was free and fair.

“I contested with one Chiwuolo and I won. It’s laughable. I am a tipper driver and I started driving at the age of 13. So, all the tipper drivers came from all the 13 LGAs of the State. I went everywhere, campaigning and all of them came. We don’t have anything to do with Keke, Barrow pushers and Okada riders.

“So, all those allegations are not true as they are meant to confuse people. All the people who participated in the election were Tipper Drivers. For the first time, we went to the office of the Commissioner for Works and Transport, the day he dissolved us. I was the Secretary to the Union. We were dissolved and a date was fixed for an election. So, we were told to come and buy our forms and campaign.

“So, by God’s grace, we bought our forms and they called us back. We know all the Unit members in Ebonyi State. So, they made a call to all the Unit Chairmen to come and submit their forms, which they all did. So, it is that same list that was used to conduct the election.

“We don’t have two groups in Ebonyi State Tipper Drivers Union. The young man you said wrote the petition is not a tipper driver. This man is a Nine Loader Chairman. He is also a member of NAETO. There is a difference between NAETO and Tipper Drivers.

“This is somebody from the past administration that Comrade Sunday Nwode, the past President, invited and we made him a Patron of the Union. He is not a Tipper Driver but a businessman. But surprisingly, the past administration of David Umahi called us and said they needed harmonisation in the Tipper Drivers business. We said no problem before they introduced N50,000 as an operational permit. So, this man went and paid N50,000. He is not a Tipper Driver but we the Tipper Drivers know where it pinches our members and we said no to that policy.

“We said, if we pay an operational permit in Ebonyi State, what will the Enugu people say? If we go to Anambra people what will they say? We said no that we were not ready for the implementation of such a policy. We met the Present Governor now, then he was the Speaker. The man said okay, that he was going to beg the immediate past Governor on our behalf so that we would pay N10,000 as an operational permit, which he did but they refused and said we must pay the N50,000.

“We said we won’t do it because if we do, we are in trouble and if we go to other States, we are in trouble. So, this man now and Oyiocha Nweze, who was the NAETO Chairman, went and paid N50,000. They are not drivers and according to them, an election was conducted. When the government then found out that the drivers were not happy, they called us back and said they wanted to harmonise us and that was when I was made the Secretary.

“At that time, he was not even the President but a Patron but he removed the man that was the President and made himself the President. From Patron to President but we said no problem. But lo and behold, the office of the Principal Secretary said our tenure will last for one year. We were very happy that it ended last year.

“We told him that, according to the instruction, after one year, we will conduct an election. I am surprised that he is coming up as a tipper driver. As I am talking to you, all the Tipper Drivers in Ebonyi State are with us. The people that elected me are the Tipper Drivers. We don’t have any business with the government except otherwise when they see an issue, they can intervene so that it can be settled amicably.”

The Secretary of the Union, Mr. Chukwu Ebuka Chukwu, expressed gratitude to God for the success of the election and promised that all hands must be on deck to move the Union forward.

“I am a Tipper Driver and a member of the Ebonyi State Tipper Drivers Union, I am the Secretary of the Union. The election was free and fair as the mother Ministry supervised it. From the day we reported that the harmonised executives have expired since last year we have been yearning for an election.

“From there, we ran to the mother Ministry, and they asked us why we were requesting an election. We told him that our tenure had expired. And when the harmonised executives came into focus, one of the conditions we were given was that after one year, an election should be conducted. We also told the Commissioner for Works that our then-chairman never wanted an election to be conducted.

“But finally, an election was conducted last Saturday, 13th April 2024, through the mother Ministry and we are all happy about it. The election went well as all the Units of the Union were duly represented,” he said.

Also, the Treasurer-elect of the Union, Romanus Chukwudi, called on the State Government to always supervise their activities to ensure that the Union was progressive, peaceful and well-coordinated as some miscreants are working tirelessly to destabilise the structure and existence of the Union.

“The special thing that we want the Governor to do is to put their eyes on us. This is because so many people are trying to penetrate the Union in order to cause disaffection among us.

“Even the person that is saying that the last election was a kangaroo election is a professional in such conduct. The man in question is not a Tipper Driver and if the man can drive a Tipper, let him come and rule us. He was never a tipper driver for once. I don’t have a shop at the International market and I do not have any government appointments. I am a full-time Tipper Driver in the State.”

About the Author

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Sunday Ogbu is a professional journalist with eight - twelve years experience that had worked with various print and online media. Sunday specializes in news reporting with the aim of educating his readers on current social, political and economic occurences within his area of coverage. Sunday is a strong force to work with in the media industry and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Sunday is inspired daily by his wife and their four children. In his free time, Sunday likes sight-seeing, reading and discussing issues of societal interest.

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Sunday Ogbuhttps://thewillnews.com
Sunday Ogbu is a professional journalist with eight - twelve years experience that had worked with various print and online media. Sunday specializes in news reporting with the aim of educating his readers on current social, political and economic occurences within his area of coverage. Sunday is a strong force to work with in the media industry and uses his positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. Sunday is inspired daily by his wife and their four children. In his free time, Sunday likes sight-seeing, reading and discussing issues of societal interest.

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