Prophet Christopher Owolabi of the Christ Apostolic Church Ori-Oke Irapada Omu-Aran, Kwara, on Sunday cautioned transporters, especially long-distance vehicle operators against the arbitrary increase in transport fare during the yuletide.
Owolabi made the plea in Omu-Aran during the church’s special service tagged: “Planning for a Prosperous 2020 and Beyond “.
He said some transport operators had formed the habit of capitalising on the need for people to travel for the festivities to hike their fares exorbitantly.
According to him, there is no justification for such an arbitrary increase in transport fares, particular for inter-state travellers, since there is no increase in petrol pump price or scarcity.
Owolabi said such development oftentimes forced some travellers to patronise wrong and awkward alternative like boarding trailers, tippers, which they considered much cheaper.
“Even when there is a scarcity of petrol resulting in a price increase or scarcity, transport fare hike should not be increased.
“Imagine asking somebody with a family of between five and 10 coming from Lagos to Omu-Aran to pay N6,000 per head as transport fare which normally costs N2,500 per head.
“If such money is expended on transportation alone how do you expect such a family to cater for feeding and other essential needs during the festivities.
“We need to always be our brothers’ keepers and desist from those acts that can make life unbearable for our fellow humans.
“Even if there is any need to increase at all, it should not be total but what everyone can afford,” he said.
Owolabi urged transport union leaders to make it a point of responsibility to strive toward ensuring that transport fare was made affordable to Nigerians.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to traders and marketers, especially dealers in food items, to desist from the arbitrary price increase of their items during the festivities.
“When transport fare and the cost of purchasing food items are made affordable, other things become child’s play
“This is the only way we can observe a prosperous Christmas and New Year in our homes,” he said.
Owolabi called on citizens, both the leaders and the led, to retrace their steps back to God and imbibe righteousness in order to move the country forward.
“We should move away from sins and other ungodly attitude and embrace righteousness as part of our resolutions as we enter another year.
“Those with enormous wealth should extend their hands of assistance to the needy and the less privileged in society.
“Certainly God loves those who give alms and charity as a way of bringing succour to the less privileged in society,” he said.