Transporters in Gabon’s economic capital, Port-Gentil, under the auspices of the Provincial Coordination for the Regulation of Syndicate Action, have declared three days of “ghost town” effective from Wednesday, Nov. 24 to 26, 2021 as their way of protesting against government’s anti-COVID-19 measures put in place and in particular “the insidious obligation of vaccination.”
The measure takes effect from 4:59 a.m. to 20:59 p.m. everyday during which all commercial vehicles belonging to members of the nine transport syndicates affiliated to Provincial Coordination for the Regulation of Syndicate Action will not work in the economic capital, Port-Gentil.
This measure is presented as a warning intended to “contest against the unpopular measures of government which render, on the one hand, vaccination against the coronavirus pandemic obligatory, and on the other hand, against wanton controls carried out by agents of the forces of defense and security, transforming the so-called controls into open-air racketeering.”
Accusing the government of a number of serious shortcomings in the management of the crises within the petroleum industry in 2014, which is linked to the health crises since March 2020, the transport syndicates expect the people to remain in their houses and stop all activities within the three days of the “ghost town.”
However, since early Wednesday morning when the “stay-at-home-call” was supposed to take effect, Port-Gentil residents did not seem to have been respecting it, as a majority of the population has been going on with their normal activities.
“Professional transporters respecting the call by their syndicate only seem to have thrown a big slice of break into the plates of clandestine transporters who have all along been competing for customers with them,” Ondong Pascal, a civil servant who was seen taking a private-vehicle-turned-taxi to work told HumAngle this morning in Port-Gentil.
The professional transporters seem to have envisaged such a scenario and had warned in a letter to the Governor of Ogooue-Maritime province that they would not be responsible for any consequences resulting from possible clashes between professional transporters and clandestine taxi operators.
“For the syndicate organizations, the call to civil disobedience demands that every citizen remains in his/her house to reflect, watch the television, take care of the children or cook for the family. There is no question of finding people in the streets,” the syndicate indicated in the letter to the governor.
Support Our Journalism
There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.
To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.
Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.Donate Here