Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 4 August 2016 | 2,610 times
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has reviewed the ban restricting tricycle (keke) operators from operating beyond 7pm in the state.
The governor who made the dramatic reversal in Aba during a solidarity rally organised in his honour by the Abia State Amalgamated Tricycle Operators Association (ASATOA), said the keke operators could now ply the roads till 9 pm.
Security concerns had previously informed the ban on Keke operators last August from operating beyond 7 pm as they were accused of sundry criminal offences, ranging from dispossessing their passengers of their luggage and other valuables to armed robbery. During the townhall meeting between the governor and the people of Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency held at Apumiri Ubakala in Umuahia South Local Government Headquarters, Ikpeazu, while responding to a request by the leadership of keke operators for a lifting of the ban, insisted that the keke operators must comply with measures put in place to guarantee security of passengers and other Abians, which included biometric registration and issuance of security numbers to all keke operators.
Some keke operators who almost engineered their members to embark on a protest, had last week alleged that they were being asked to pay N4,000 per person for the registration exercise. They had vowed not to comply, citing several levies and daily tickets being collected from them.
However, Ikpeazu, during the Aba ASATOA rally, promised that government would stop the imposition of multiple levies on the keke operators.
He reiterated that the initial ban on time of keke operation was due to the increase in crimes associated with keke and urged the tricycle operators in the state to rid the union of bad eggs in their midst who may want to give their union a bad name.
He told keke operators that his administration has constructed many roads in Aba and installed street lights in the city, assuring that he was committed to rehabilitating Port Harcourt Road and other roads in Aba.
He explained that his administration was paying much attention to Aba because the commercial city was the bedrock of Abia’s economy as it was the home of small and medium scale enterprises.
Earlier in his address read by by the Secretary, Comrade Osita Ukaumunna, the Chairman of ASATOA, Comrade Eugene Eze Job, assured Ikpeazu of the support of the union in view of the many good things he has so far done in the state, especially in Aba and condemned the attempt by a cabal in the state to wrestle power from the governor.
Job promised that the union will resist any attempt to try to remove the Governor from office illegally and urged him not to be dismayed as he would emerge victorious from his travails.
•Photo shows a fleet of keke.
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