Enugu – The Enugu State Government has trained 60 members of State Task Force of Association of Tricycle Riders Transport Union (ATRTU) Enugu to improve on professionalism while carrying out their function. The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Transport, Mr Ogbonna Idike, disclosed this on Wednesday to newsmen in Enugu while lifting the ban on the union’s state task force pronounced earlier by the government about two weeks ago. It would be recalled that the union’s task force was banned after the union members engaged in a peaceful protest against the task force’s unprofessionalism that disrupted the peace and free-flow of traffic within the metropolis. Idike said that the task force members, who were given intensive but free two days training, were drawn from the three council areas within Enugu metropolis – Enugu North, Enugu South and Enugu East council areas. He said that each council had 20 men among the 60 task force members trained; adding that after the training each trainee was given a copy of the new state government guideline, which they must strictly follow daily. According to him, they were strictly profiled with clear identifications, passport photos, addresses as well as given free-of-charge clearly marked and coloured operational vest and individual numbers per local council area.

He said that during the training, they were given specific guidelines on their roles and limitations, manner of approach, courtesy, neatness and the need to work in synergy with the ministry officials and security agencies among others. ‘All the training and other modalities put in place for them, done free-of-charge, was to streamline their activities in order to engender professionalism in their operation as well as engender public peace always.

“This is in line with His Excellency Gov. Peter Mbah’s vision to improve the overall economy and commercial viability of the state by ensuring a peaceful and non-violence environment on roads for business and human activities to flourish in Enugu State. “The ministry has also set-up a five-member committee to daily monitor the activities of the task force members that are scheduled to resume operation from Thursday, July 13, within Enugu metropolis,” he said. Idike also warned that any task force member that uses his duty to defraud/extort as well as igniting violence and distorting the public peace on the roads would be arrested and prosecuted according to the state law.

Responding, the Chairman of the Task Force, Mr Ahamuefula Chikadibia, assured that the task force members would follow and abide by the rules and regulation of the government and ensure continual peace in the state. “We will abide by the rules guiding our operation and ensure we start the task force work within ourselves by ensuring that every member conform in terms of dressing and neatness; courtesy and carrying out the duty with human face,” he said. Speaking, the Chairman of ATRTU Enugu State, Mr Sunday Ozeh, assured the state government that the union would also set-up a team that would daily monitor the activities of the task force members to ensure total compliance.

Chief Benjamin Ika, Chairman of ATRTU Board of Trustees, appreciated the state government and the ministry for its concern, free training and modalities put in place to improve the professionalism of tricycle operation in the state. Ika, the former Chairman of ATRTU, said: “With the assistance received from the government, we are assuring that the union and its reinvigorated task force will never disappoint the government even as the union will keep a close eye on them.”

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