Former cabbie on eighth day of hunger strike

Source: Illawarra Mercury

A NSW man claims to have been on a hunger strike outside Parliament House in Sydney for eight days - all for the sake of a $200 fine he copped 14 years ago.

Abdula Ganiji from Cringila, south of Wollongong, is refusing to eat, or return home to his distressed family, until Premier Barry O'Farrell launches a "full investigation" into his dispute with former employer Wollongong Radio Cabs.

Not even a "visit from the Premier" yesterday lessened the former cabbie's resolve.

"Barry O'Farrell came out and spoke to me, but I'm not stopping. This hunger strike will continue until there is a full investigation," Mr Ganiji said.

"I'm getting a bit tired and weak, my family is upset and everything but I won't stop.

"I spoke to my doctor and I asked him how long I can last, he says three weeks, maybe more. The only thing that will make me stop is an investigation."

Mr Ganiji was fined in 1998 by Wollongong Radio Cabs for misusing his taxi radio - he was accused of clicking the buttons unnecessarily, causing problems on the communication network.

Wollongong Radio Cabs refused to comment on the case.

Mr O'Farrell's office would not confirm whether the Premier met Mr Ganiji yesterday.

Mr Ganiji is upset "authorities have taken no notice" of his letters of complaint and he believes he was never given the chance to appeal the fine.

"I only tell the truth. I am innocent, somebody should listen to the truth. Is it guilty until proven innocent in NSW?"

Mr Ganiji arrived at Parliament House last Wednesday.

He says he has not eaten since.

He returned home to the Illawarra briefly on Sunday to get himself a mattress.

"I was sleeping on the ground, it was so uncomfortable for me. One night I slept in a chair in the hospital next door in their waiting room but they kicked me out," Mr Ganiji said. "It's very hard, it's very windy but I must stay here. I'm very hungry and weak but I must stay here, I will not go until I get a full investigation."

Asked why he wouldn't forget about the past and leave the issue behind , Mr Ganiji said: "My wife says this to me too, but this fight I will not give in."

Transport NSW said Mr Ganiji had been "provided every assistance" to resolve his issue.

"Investigations that have already taken place resolve that Wollongong Radio Cabs did not breach network service standards or guidelines," a spokesman said.

"The onus is on Mr Ganiji to provide new and compelling evidence to support his case.

"Unless this occurs, the matter cannot be further investigated."

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