Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has signed an Executive Bill empowering the Abia State Ministry of Transport to impound vehicles and impose a N50,000 fine on travellers who violate the ban on inter-state trips.
Chief Ekele Nwaohammuo, Commissioner for Transport, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Aba, said the ministry had already arrested two drivers and impounded two vehicles with passengers moving from Aba to Lagos.
“We have also sealed Perfect Transport Company, Aba for violating the lockdown directive, which prohibited inter-state movements,” Nwaohammuo said
The commissioner said he would soon meet with transporters and road workers unions in Abia to remind them of the implications of running foul of the lockdown rules and to encourage compliance.
Nwaohammuo said: “It is very correct that some motorists and buses still load and move people in and outside Abia.
“I have arrested some motorists for boarding people in their vehicles to move outside the state.
“I am just from the Secretary to the State Government’s office where I went to seek reinforcement because I am just an individual and cannot handle the situation alone.
“These commercial drivers are very stubborn.
“I have told them on radio the difference between intra-state and inter-state movements, yet they keep doing what they are doing.
“I will hold a meeting with all their leaders on Friday to ensure they understand the need to obey the lockdown order or face the consequence.”
Nwaohammuo disclosed that he had been authorised to work with the Special Adviser on Security to the Abia State Government, Captain Awa Udonsi, and use “every reasonable force” to seal any park transporting people for inter-state trips.