Members of the Ghana Committed Drivers Association (GCDA) have expressed their displeasure over the recent directive by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), COP John Kudalor to police officers to suspend vehicle checks nationwide.
With the directive which is widely viewed to be politically motivated, police officers are not supposed to stop any vehicle to check its registration documents and drivers’ licenses.
But the GCDA in a statement issued and signed by its Vice Chairman, Prince Amankwa and Public Relations Officer, Francis Appiah, respectively, condemned the directive, saying it is “…only a lame and desperate attempt by the Mahama-led government to bribe commercial drivers to vote for the NDC following years of implementing punishing policies against us.”
It said “Of more concern to us and our plight as drivers, is the Mahama-led NDC government’s insensitivity and resultant increases in insurance premiums by over 500% and the intention to further increase it by an additional 300% if they win the 2016 elections.”
“As drivers we have been saddled with gas shortages and unstable and high petroleum prices over the last couple of years. Import duties on vehicles and spare parts have made our trade more expensive as vehicles have become expensive to buy and to run in order to make ends meet,” according to the statement.
“Social intervention programmes like the NHIS and free maternal care have become inaccessible or non-existent to our families and a further burden on our meager incomes. Life, for us in Ghana today, has become increasingly unbearable.”
Vehicle Income Taxes, according GCDA, “have been increased by over 100%; commercial roadworthiness certificates have been increased by over 100%, while cost of vehicle spare parts continue to increase by the day. Several attempts to communicate our concerns to government for redress have proven futile.”
“In the new road traffic regulation LI 2180 signed by Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Transport at the time, a lot of counter-productive regulations have been put in place all of which are inimical to the interest of commercial drivers, and these are the core issues that affect our livelihood.”
It added that “Indeed this government recognises that it has been very insensitive to concerns of commercial drivers and has acted in ways, only inimical to our commercial success.”
“Accordingly, we wish to call on all commercial drivers to treat the recent directive by the IGP with contempt as it is only a desperate attempt by the Mahama-led government to deceptively, court votes of commercial drivers in favour of the NDC.”
The group urged all its members and other drivers to continue to respect and abide by all motor regulations to ensure safety on the roads.