By Ibrahim Abdul’Aziz
To ensure transparency and judicial disbursement of the Adamawa N20 million palliative, unit leaders of the commercial tricycles riders popularly known as KEKE-NAPEP riders have held an emergency meeting to commence distribution of the money and other palliative accrued.
Sources say that with over 40,000 KEKE-NAPEP riders in the state, there was confusion on the sharing formula; who and which group to benefit from the N20 million palliative doled by the state government, a situation that prompted an emergency meeting of the stakeholders on Wednesday.
It could be recalled that the state government considering the hit meted on the critical transport sector especially the KEKE-NAPEP Operators during a 14-day lockdown, it released the sum of Twenty Million (N20,000,000.00) naira to the association to cushion the effect.
Comrade Bashir Mohammed Jimeta who leads Mbolo transporters association, one of the KEKE-NAPEP riders’ unions in the state confirmed the disbursement, ‘’ we held a meeting to judiciously share the money according to units.
‘’Initially, we started giving N1000, and it seems the money will not go round, in Adamawa as a whole we have over 40,000 riders if going by this number each member may get less than five hundred Naira (N500), so we held a crucial meeting of all unit heads on a formula to share this N20 million assisted by the state government, and we are grateful.
‘’We had explained to unit heads to ensure transparency while sharing the little they got; the money is not enough to cushion all our hardship suffered but rather to commend and appreciate our outpouring solidarity and support sparked by this shared challenge.
‘’This informed Government’s intervention,’’ he said.
He also further that the union leadership had used a chunk percentage of the N20 million to purchase hand sanitizers that could be distributed to members across the 21 local government areas.
‘’We need to also help in containing the spread of this deadly COVID-19 pandemic, so instead of sharing all the money which is not enough; we decided to purchase the hand sanitizers for units.
‘’ We are appealing to all to ensure they adhere to basic practices of handwashing, social distancing and proper hygiene,’’ Jimeta explained.
Immediately Governor Ahamdu Umaru Fintiri released the sum of twenty million (N20,000,000.00) to the KEKE-NAPEPE riders grumbling sparks with other trade unions waiting for their share.
‘’ Whenever you feel hungry as a cobbler, mason or carpenter due to the lockdown, just meet any KEKE Rider and collect your share of 20 million to buy food. We must get a sense by force in Adamawa.
‘’We are also anxiously waiting for our own palliative and I do hope we will not be spared-out,’’ so mocks a Yola based petty trader, Modi Ahmadu.
Like this trader, another grumbler laments, ‘’ we were forced to park our cars and sit- at- home, but we are yet to get any palliative as commercial drivers.
‘’ I am appealing to the governor Fintiri to equally extend his hand to us, commercial drivers and other vulnerable groups working at motor parks,’’ James Aboki a commercial driver has urged.