JOHNKENNEDY UZOMA, Owerri
The months of grace given to tricycle operators known as Keke NAPEP Owerri, Imo State capital ended on Wednesday as the government announced a total ban on the operators of the tricycles with immediate effect.With the ban, Keke operators would no longer be allowed to ply any road within Owerri.
Before now the Keke operators were restricted to only operate in some streets and roads outside the Bank road, Weltheral road, Orlu road, Okigwe road and government round among others.The final ban came barely 24 hours after a clash between the operators of Keke and some government officals occurred during their protest yesterday on Tuesday 5th December 2017 at the Government House round about.
The protest which led to the storming of the Government House resulted in many injuries especially on the side of Keke operators.
Following the final ban, the capital city was deserted by Keke operators for fear of arrest.Consequently, commuters including public servants, and other passengers in the state capital were stranded following the scarcity of vehicles and Keke to convey them to their respective destinations.
In a statement issued in Owerri yesterday by the new Comissioner for Information, Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri while confirming the ban on the Keke operators warned that officials have been mandated to arrest any operator and impound any tricycle that violates the government order.He advised the operators to comply with the government directives by operating and stopping in designated bus stops to avoid sanction.A resident of Owerri , Mazi Cletus Iheme advised government to make available more vehicles to cushion the hardship by commuters following the ban.
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