By Uche Usim
The leadership of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has threatened to ground commercial activities in Anambra if the state government fails to resolve a protracted dispute with the local chapter of NARTO.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja weekend, the National President of NARTO, Alhaji Kassim Bataiya, said several letters and visits to the state Governor, Willie Obiano, to resolve the three-year dispute have not yielded desired results, leaving the national body with no option than to issue a 14-day ultimatum to the state government beginning from May 30.
Bataiya said: “We are not a political organisation nor do we hold any partisan view of any individual politician. Individual members are, however, free to exercise their freedoms personally but as responsible and patriotic people, we respect and hold constituted authority, particularly government, in high esteem. Our members carry out their activities with decorum and decency consistent with the demands of civilised behaviour and respect for the rule of law.
“We are saddened by the attitude of the government of Anambra State for refusing to amicably resolve their differences with our state branch. In addition to the effort of state branch, we have also enlisted the support of well-meaning individuals to reach out to the Executive Governor, Willie Obiano, to give our people audience with a view to resolving their grievances but that was also resisted.
“Our members have been denied the right to operate within the state. We’ve right to operate in any state of the federation, but denied in Anambra. Our operations can only be done in designated areas and if you’re not given, then you’re denied,” the NARTO President explained.
He added that if no meeting was called to settle the squabbles before the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum, commercial activities may be grounded in the state.