Abia state Government has banned the Imo Transport Company (ITC) from operating in any part of the state.
The ban is in retaliation to the ejection of Abia Transport Company from its loading park in Owerri, the Imo state capital.
Consequently, the Abia State Government has directed security agencies to impound any ITC vehicle operating in the state.
The Chief of Staff to Governor Theodore Orji, Mr. Cosmas Ndukwe said in a statement, that the state Government had shut down the loading bays operated by ITC in Aba and Umuahia.
Ndukwe said the closure took effect from Saturday July 6, 2013, noting that it was “in response to the continued closure of Abia Line loading bay in Owerri without any recourse to the Abia State government”.
He alleged that passionate appeals made to Imo Government to rescind its decision had fallen on deaf ears.
According to him, the security agencies were further mandated to “prosecute the operator engaging in illegal loading bay any where in Abia state”.
To ensure total compliance, Abia state Government also warned landlords against giving out their properties to the Imo Company for loading bay.
The statement warned that any landlord found violating the directive would lose the certificate of occupancy of such property.
It could be re-called that the Abia State Government had on Friday issued an ultimatum to its Imo counterpart, giving it till tomorrow, Tuesday July 9, 2013, to provide alternative loading bay to its transport company.
In the ultimatum, which was issued by Governor Orji’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ugochkuwu Emezues, the Imo Government was accused of playing politics with ejection of Abia transport.
Emezue had said that the Government did not believe in the reason of reclaiming Owerri master plan which the Imo state Government gave for ejecting the Abia Company, as according to him, the ejection was selective.
“Interestingly, Peace Mass Transit which also operates within the same neighboourhood with Abia Lines is yet to be ejected, as Imo Government is claiming that the ejection order was based on its plan to reclaim the master plan of the capital city of Owerri.
“If by Tuesday, Abia Line is not returned to its loading bay, Abia state Government will also begin the restoration of the master plan of Aba and Umuahia, which will affect Imo Transport loading bays in the affected areas”, he stated.
However, our source learnt that Abia state Government had to step back and execute its retaliatory action because there were no green light being shown by Imo State government on the issue.