The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State has urged the state government to rescind its directive that owners of taxi cabs and commuter buses paint their vehicles to specified colour.
The party said while it is not undermining the reduction of crimes as proffered by Governor Uzodimma as reason for the order, it would rather suggest that the security architecture be rejigged to stop the use of commercial vehicles to commit crimes.
In a statement signed by the state Publicity Secretary, Ogubundu Nwadike, the party described the policy as anti-people coming at a time the economy of the state was in comatose owing to the rising insecurity ravaging the state.
According to the PDP, it is absurd and insensitive on the part of government to compel by fiat taxi and commercial bus owners to paint their vehicles to specified colour at this period of untold hardship.
The statement reads in part: “We and sincere Imolites know that there is so much economic and financial hardship and gross poverty in the state, such that the order to paint the taxis and buses at this time is simply not only ill-timed, but also actually an unnecessary overburdening of the citizens wearied by shared poverty policy of this regime.
“Our party is not unaware that the brunt, whole and entire, of the huge cost of painting the taxis and buses will be directly borne by the greater majority of Imo masses, in the form of avoidable indirect taxes that are already in excess in the state.
“At the moment, transport fares in the state have been hiked by over 100% since January 2020, when this regime assumed office. There is no gainsaying that the transporters will simply transfer to the commuters the cost of painting their vehicles by way of increases in fares. That is unacceptable.
“The crippling stress and strain of the non-payment of salaries and pensions, the impoverishing COVID-19 lockdowns, the poor physical infrastructure, the lack of basic social amenities, and lately, the crippling of the state’s economy by insecurity; all have had heavy tolls on the socio-economic well-being of Ndimo. The people seriously need some relief palliative now, which can come by way of cancelling the order for taxis and buses to be painted in a specified colour.
“As the leading opposition Party, we are consciously very concerned, and genuinely care about the regime’s plans, policies, programmes, projects as they relate to the people of Imo State.
“This party, therefore, would always condemn and demand for the rescinding and jettisoning of any plans, policies, programmes, and projects that will further worsen the anguish Imo people suffer because of gross economic hardship and crushing poverty, which the regime has created in the state”.