by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
Following the lifting of the ban on interstate borders, the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Plateau State has directed all its drivers and passengers to use face-masks, and all drivers must have hand sanitizers in their vehicles. The Plateau State council chairman of the union, Comrade Ishahu Mohammed, asked them to maintain social distancing, which means, “no over loading.”
He was speaking with Conscience Triumph in Jos on Monday, when he said before the Coronavirus, the Sharon car carried 10 passengers, with 4 at back,4 in the middle and 2 in front, but due to the pandemic, the back-seat takes 2 passengers, same as the middle, while the front sits one passenger.
According to him, “The Vecter and other cars were taking 6 passengers with 4 at the back and two in the front, but now it’s two at the back and one in the front, in all their parks, and we do regular washing of hands in compliance with the directive on and guidelines to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.”
It could be recalled that, for about 2 weeks now, the state government imposed a compulsory wearing of face-masks for every citizen in the state, which was done through the secretary to the state government, Prof. Danladi Atu.
The union constituted a committee on enforcement, and members of the committee are in different strategist places of the roads in the state, to check each vehicle to see, if they are in compliance with the government’ directive, and to ensure that, no overloading and all have face-masks.
Our correspondent reports that, some of the drivers took the advantage and increased their transport fares, giving example as, from Bukuru to Terminus, which used to be N150.00 but now is N200, while a “drop” is N100.00 instead of the previous N50.00 or N70 naira.
The NURTW chairman told the people there is need for all to join hands and fight the virus, as human beings, “because among our drivers there are those, who do not comply with the directive.
“NURTW is 42 years now in service. We were registered by the government in 1972 and we have our rules and regulations, any of our members that disobey the rules, action will be taken.
“I am advising my drivers to comply with the directive of COVID-19 because we must join hands to fight the pandemic; we cannot pray to go back to total lockdown again,” he advised.
The chairman further advised passengers to also join hands with them and fight the pandemic because it is real, saying, “Our members rely on daily basis income; but during the lockdown, we were totally locked out!”