The opposition Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State on Tuesday condemned the indefinite suspension of operations of tricycle riders in Jos-Bukuru metropolis, describing it as, “a ruthless and pitiless method of suppressing the citizens”.
The condemnation came through the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. John Akans in an interview with DAILY POST in Jos.
Akans said, “The Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State is worried by the rather harsh action of Governor Simon Lalong led administration towards the people of the State through outright indefinite suspension of tricycle operators within Jos and Bukuru metropolis.
“This achieves nothing tangible but instead adds to the suffering of the people in the face of grinding and intolerably difficult economic downturn caused by the failed APC leadership at the federal and state levels.
“Rather than paying attention on how to lift the people from prolonged poverty, the Lalong administration is busy implementing a policy of collective punishment that adds to the poverty level in Plateau State and makes commercial transportation more difficult.
“What is really shameful in all of this is how a government can target very low income earners for exploitation in the name of revenue generation.
“The signs were there all this while that the tricycle operators were dissatisfied with government’s potentially over-bearing initiative, but the government would not engage in any constructive dialogue. It waited instead to be reactive and high-handed.”
The PDP chieftain recalled that, “the introduction of commercial tricycle on June 12, 2012, was a well thought-out and deliberate policy of PDP administration to promote security, add to urban development and empower the teaming youths of Plateau State.
“This was indeed achieved through PDP’s people-oriented policies and programmes. This policy was well-received and applauded by the people.
The PDP Spokesperson maintained that, it had expected that the present administration would add value to this people-oriented initiative.
“But painfully, the government is turning the youth back to joblessness and providing no other vibrant and policy option”, he further lamented.
“It appear to us that the only policy known to the APC administration is, backward ever, forward never”.
Akans further stated that, with the above, the people must have realised that their votes for Governor Lalong in 2015 were all in vain.
“Or else, how is it fatally injurious under democratic rule for an oppressed people to voice out their dislike of a policy?” He asked.
“The Peoples Democratic Party condemns this suppression of the people’s right and the exploitative introduction of excess fees on the tricycle operators. It is a ruthless and pitiless method of suppressing the citizens.
“The party also condemns any action by hoodlums who may want to take advantage of a genuine expression of freedom for their selfish interest”, he warned.
The PDP spokesman express the party’s sympathy to the tricycle operators over what it described as “unjust policy which has had a direct and adverse effect on their livelihood and curtailed the discharge of their responsibilities to their families.
“We also share in the pains and inconveniences visited on commuters in Jos and Bukuru.
“The PDP calls on Governor Lalong to drop the excess charges, lift the suspension on commercial tricycle operators and be civil in his approach to sensitive issues that affect the well being of the people.
“The party also calls on the Governor to separate hoodlums from genuine agitators and address the grievances squarely so that normalcy can be restored for commuters.”