Transporters in Abia State have appealed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to give them palliatives, to cushion the effects of the sit-at-home order.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the transporters said the lockdown is making life difficult for them.
Despite the suspension of the sit-at-home by the proscribed group, residents of the region have continued to comply with the order over the fear of attacks.
The transporters complained that their sector has been adversely affected by the directive, as their vehicles are usually attacked or vandalised by the sit-at-home enforcers, while passengers hardly come out of their homes for fear of attacks.
They also expressed worry that the weekly exercise would cripple socio-economic activities in the South-east.
Henry Okezie, chairman of the Abia State Drivers’ Welfare Union, said the order has dealt “a deadly blow” to the transport business.
“This frequent sit-at-home is really affecting us because we can’t operate if we don’t see passengers”, he said.
“Most of our members have their vehicles on hire purchase; which means that we must work every day to meet the target.
“We are appealing to the enforcers of this exercise to give us some palliatives in order to cushion the effect.
“We have over 200 members at this Isigate Park in Umuahia whose buses are operating on Umuahia-Ikwuano and Umuahia-Ubakala routes.
“Each of us makes a minimum of N10,000 daily. So any day we don’t work, we lose over N2 million on average.”
Okezie stated that they would continue to comply with the directive in fear, because “some of our vehicles got damaged while some passengers were injured the other time we flouted it”.
Kingsley Chijindu, a driver on Umuahia-Aba route, said passengers are afraid to come out in spite of the suspension of the Monday exercise.
“Passengers are scarce on Mondays because they are afraid of being attacked on the road,” he said.
“The sit-at-home is even worse in Aba than Umuahia. So I have decided to take Monday as my day of rest till further notice.
“We really need help either from IPOB or the government, to cover up the monetary loss because we cannot continue like this.”