Travelers were yesterday stranded in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, following plan by mass transit operators to withdraw their services due to alleged high taxation by the state government.
The planned strike by the local commercial bus drivers affected business operation in the state as desperate passengers, especially those traveling to neighbouring states strove to get to their destination at all cost.
At most loading bays, it was observed there was no bus picking passengers for trip outside the state, while gates to the bays were either locked or blocked with vehicles.
Passengers, including some National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members who were travelling to various camps for orientation, were seen standing in groups discussing the development, while others sat dejectedly on their bags.
Some of them, who spoke with National Mirror, expressed frustration over the situation, saying the transport companies ought to have informed them about their intention to embark on strike to enable them make alternative arrangement.
Some of the mass transit operators, including Mr Chidi Agbo and Innocent Nwoke, explained that the strike was to protest arbitrary increase in charges for passengers’ manifests and imposition of taxes on commercial drivers.
But in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to Ebonyi State Governor on Transport, Chief Philip Eworo, stated that the charges were not new, while the issue of emblem was statutory revenue, which was mandatory for all commercial vehicle drivers operating in the state.
Eworo regretted the action of the operators, adding that the state government had commenced negotiations with them to call off the strike.
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