A commercial tricycle rider, Mr Emmanuel Akachukwu, on Sunday apologized to the Enugu State Ministry of Transport over his beating of the traffic and misconduct on Presidential Road within Enugu metropolis.
Akachukwu gave the apology when Chairman of Association of Tricycle Riders Transport Union in Enugu State, Mr Benjamin Ikah and ministry officials held a meeting to understand what lead him collapsing and being rushed to a hospital on Friday, Dec. 10.
The tricycle rider, while kneeing to apologise, said: “I can see from the video recording that I beat the traffic by passing when the traffic light is already red. I sincerely apologise for my negative conduct.
“I am assuring the ministry and the state government that I will not constitute nuisances and social disruption on the road any more. I was not extorted as a version of the incident story ongoing in the social media allegedly said.
“Rather I will quietly come to the ministry’s headquarters and lay my complaint to superior officers that will definitely listen to me”.
Earlier, Ikah thanked the ministry for taking care of all Akachukwu medical bills notwithstanding that he caused the complication leading to his hospitalisation after he alleged collapsed when he was stubborn moving his impounded tricycle to ministry.
The chairman, however, appealed to the ministry to rescind its decision in taking the matter to court, adding that the tricycle association and the ministry had continued to have an harmonious relationship over the years.
According to him, I have seen the video clip of the incident and how it initially started. My member is at fault and should have followed the ministry traffic officers to their office or call me to resolve this issue immediately.
“The association has enjoyed robust relationship with Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and we see him as the best friendly governor to commercial tricycle operators in the history of the state.
“We are apologizing and same time appealing to the ministry to find a way to forgive Akachukwu and close this negative incident in the interest of moving the state forward and continuing our relationship,” Ikah said.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Transport, Mr Ogbonna Idike, noted that the ministry officials did their job professionally and showed him video recording of him beating the traffic politely.
According to him, what was represented by an online publication by coalition of right group in a newspaper over the incident was a complete misinformation as the ministry officials did their job professionally and with politeness.
“There was no issue of extortion as clarified in Akachukwu’s testimony; no one beat him and just that he was being gradually held for his tricycle to be towed and he allegedly fainted,” he said.
Idike said that the ministry had heard plea of Akachukwu and Ikah, adding: “I have directed that Akachukwu’s tricycle should be released free-of-charge and every tricycle rider in this meeting will have a free booklet of the state road rules and code”.
Meanwhile, Idike said that the state will launch its “Operation Free Flow of Traffic in Yuletide” on Dec. 15, 2021 and it would run to Jan. 5, 2022.
He noted that the ministry would carry out the operation in collaboration with Federal Road Safety Corps, police and NSCDC as well as some council areas providing Neighbourhood Watch and Forest Guard officials to join to ensure hitch-free traffic.
“We have already trained 200 officials from Neighbourhood Watch and Forest Guard officials in some council areas to join our 314 ministry traffic control officers for the special operation meant to keep traffic flowing in all routes in the state.
“The ministry is providing the 200 officials with a marked out reflective jacket for them to be easily identified as traffic officials during this yuletide,” he said.