NATA To Protest Okowa’s Tax Burden

By Kenneth Orusi, Asaba

Members of the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) have concluded plans to stage a protest that would ground Asaba, the Delta State capital, following certain observed anomalies in the state government’s dealing with the association.

The protest which is expected to draw over 5000 auto technicians from across the 25 local government areas of the state is aimed at correcting the anomalies and making government responsible to the body and give it its pride of place.

Although the specific date still remains shrouded in secrecy, findings indicate that the grand plan is to organise a massive sensitization and orientation to the members in all the council areas before the technicians’ troop into the streets of Asaba and register their grievances against the ill treatment from government agencies.

Delta State Chairman of NATA, Comrade Ifeanyi Abanum, told our correspondent that the technicians would carry vehicle parts and tools on their heads indicating that they have no place to work but government agencies have remained on their neck over revenue drive.

“We are planning a massive protest in Asaba. Government has not done what it promised us. The protest will make the government of Delta State to know that we are existing. We can’t be paying levies without government doing anything for us. They are setting up taskforce to collect money from us without them doing their part for us.

“You can’t imagine we pay for land, pay for store, pay for everything. We are paying but they are not doing anything for us. We don’t want that intimidation again. All members of NATA from all local governments must come to Asaba for the protest. We’ve prepared letters to the police and all security agencies to that effect. Nothing will stop us from the protest.

“The protest will bring strong light about our existence. People are using mask to cover the technicians. We will fight and continue to fight until every issue is settled. We are not afraid of anything. All senatorial and local government chairmen have been mandated to mobilise NATA members for the protest which is expected to ground Asaba”, Abanum boasted.

A member of the association, Comrade Ifeanyi Osazele, also told our correspondent that since 2013, the Sapele chapter of the association has paid N6.5m to Delta Development Property Authority (DDPA) out of a total of N13m for the land hosting the mechanic village in Sapele, noting that the protest was necessary to challenge the government of the state.

“We must make the protest a unique one. Abuja must hear it. Every local government must be represented. We are auto technicians, we deserve our respect from the government. Without protest, we can’t get government attention. Every local government should be represented to make it a huge success”, he said.

Also, Peterson Edewor, Vice Chairman, representing Delta Central, said “we want the protest, we want government to hear our voice. They are looking at us as nuisance on the street. We want government to build our mechanic village so that we can monitor our members. We are embarking on the protest because government did not listen to the former one we did in the state.”