From PAT NNADI, Nsukka
Touched by economic hardships being experienced as a result of poor patronage, a philanthropist has given over 400 commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as Okada, free fuel in Nsukka, Enugu State, to cushion the effect of the hardship.
In a chat with AbeyaNews yesterday at the commencement of the exercise at Total Filling Station Nsukka, the sponsor of the programme, Hon. Ben Ugwuoke said the gesture was aimed at giving Okada riders succour amid the country’s current harsh economic realities.
According to him, this is the 4th time he is giving free fuel to Okada riders in Nsukka LGA and Enugu North Senatorial District.
“I don’t give because I have enough, I give because I care enough,” he said philosophically.
“Today’s exercise is the forth phase and is only for Okada riders in Nsukka LGA; last time, I gave tricycle riders.
“Am doing this in support of our Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who has given me the opportunity to serve and work in his administration,” Ugwuoke added.
Ugwuoke, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Ugwuanyi, further explained that the state government has good plans for Okada riders in Nsukka and other areas Okada operates in Enugu State.
“Very soon some of Okada riders will be invited to benefit from good and wonderful package from our dear Governor,” he said. “My own is to identify areas of your needs, help as much as I can and take your problems to government and seek their assistance,” he said.
Comrade Chika Nwaeze, Chairman of Okada riders in Nsukka LGA, who thanked Hon. Ugwuoke for the gesture, described the Governor’s aide as one who has given him and his members reason to live and be happy.
“We can’t thank Ugwuoke enough because this free fuel of a thing has become a usual occurrence; we can never forget those ones he shared during the period of lockdown together with cash and other coronervirous protective materials.
“As we say thank you Sir, we have resolved among ourselves to be law-abiding, support government and its policies and never to engage with any form of criminal activity,” he said.
Another beneficiary, Mr Sunday Omeje expressed his gratitude to Ugwuoke for the gesture. He urged all the other public-spirited Nigerians to emulate his kind gesture.
Our reporter gathered that Hon. Ugwuoke had during the lockdown shared food palliatives and cash to physically challenged persons, widows, Private school teachers among other groups in Nsukka LGA and Enugu North Senatorial District.
AbeyaNews checks showed that each of the Okada riders was given five litres of petrol free of charge.