Operators of minibuses in Owerri, the Imo State capital, have described the 14-day ultimatum given by the state government to paint their vehicles as wicked and insensitive.
The state government had, on Tuesday, mandated the commercial drivers to paint their vehicles in blue and white with two red lines running from the boot to the bonnet.
The order was issued through the office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Duties, Chinasa Nwaneri.
The release had ordered the cab drivers in the state to go to the Ministry of Transport to do the necessary or risk losing their vehicles after the 14-day ultimatum.
A driver who spoke to UGAMATV said that the order is the height of wickedness on the side of the government. He said that the government should apply a human face in some of its policies because, according to him, times are hard.
“Maybe, the government has forgotten that the prevailing security situation also affected our work as commercial drivers.
“Because of fear of the unknown gunmen, no cab driver is making good money again. Everyone is running for their dear lives.
“Now tell me where the drivers will steal the money to be able to do the necessary thing within 14 days.
“The government is either insensitive or wicked to the cab drivers. Many of us are confused at this point,” he said.
“I appeal that the government extends the deadline to enable people to rally round for money to paint their vehicles because a good number of us have to borrow money to do that.”
Another driver who gave his name as George Alaegbu said that the order was for those who are easily cowed, not drivers like himself.
He added that he was ever ready for the taskforce till he gathers money to do the needful.
“I’m ready for the taskforce. I will slug it out with them anytime, any day. They should stop this wickedness.
“No responsible government would give its commercial cab operators 14 days to paint their vehicles in the prevailing security economic crisis.
“Governor Hope Uzodinma should add a human face in some of his policies because he is leading human beings and not animals.
“I am not saying that a state must not have its vehicle colour, but it shouldn’t be now that people are managing to survive,” he said.
“After all, the ministry of transport they referred us to, no longer has a commissioner. what kind of government is this!”