By JayCee Penny, Calabar
The Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Eyo Ekpo has pledged to provide a conducive working environment for the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association, NATA, in Cross River State.
Ekpo, who was in company of his wife, Dr. Ranti Ekpo and top SDP officials, gave the assurance at a meeting with NATA members in Calabar metropolis.
The Governorship candidate said when sworn into office, one of his priorities would be to provide automobile technicians and mechanics with a well planned out space as obtained in developed climes to make their jobs easier and smoother.
According to Ekpo, the ‘mechanic village’ arrangement allows for easier sourcing of spare parts for mechanics, technicians and vehicle owners.
“I appreciate you all and the work you do because whether we like it or not, you are all very relevant to our daily living. It is an acceptable practice to have auto shops, technicians and mechanics operate easily. That I promise to provide when I am Governor”, stated Ekpo.
He further remarked that his government will create a platform where the current artisans and technicians can upgrade their skills and also serve as formal institutions where others can come for training.
“This mechanic village will include an academy where artisans and technicians as well as others can train. It will take the form of a partnership between my government and NATA for mutual benefit”, the SDP governorship candidate said.
Responding, the Vice Chairman of NATA, Cross River State council, Comrade Edoho Sam, expressed the association’s readiness to support the aspirations of Mr. Ekpo.
Sam urged the governorship candidate to extend consultations across the 18 Local Government Areas to ensure that others key into his vision for a better working environment.
He said “we will give you all our support. I assure you that my wife and children, who are of voting age, will vote for you. We will also put you in our prayers also because the journey is not easy”.
Comrade Archibong Udoh, the State Chairman of NATA, pointed out that though the association was not a political group, it has vested interest in the operations of its members and their businesses, which government policies impact.
Udoh said “NATA is not a political group, but our activities are affected by government policies and laws. We have our interest and we work to protect that interest.
Archibong emphasize that the group believed in, which was the reason for insisting members be armed with their Permanent Voters Cards.
While pledging support to Eyo Ekpo, Udoh urged “do not forget NATA when you are elected Governor of our dear State. I also charge you to campaign with the people at heart”.