Keke operators protest extortion, brutality again

Tricycle drivers, otherwise known as Keke operators plying Owerri road-Main Market Onitsha in Anambra state on Thursday took to the streets of Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka to protest their extortion and brutality from the hands of illegal revenue agents.

They carried playcards some of which read:”Arrest Kwam Kwam Now!, Arrest Okey Oba Now!, Your Excellency Our Lives are in danger, Governor Willie Obiano please deliver us  from the hands of Inkechukwu Ani, alias Kwam Kwam, Stop Illegal tickets Now among other things.

Armed with a petition addressed to Anambra state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, leaders of the protesters, Dede Uzor A. Uzor and the chairman and secretary of Keke Drivers and Tricycle Operators Welfare Association, Mr. Ekene Ifediata and Mr. Edwin Ikpe said they are going round the state  to register their displeasure over  intimidation they receive on daily basis from the hands of illegal revenue agents.

Uzor stated that one of the greatest dangers facing the Keke drivers along the route is that if they resist payment, they will be physically manhandled.

Some of the protesters showed machete cuts on their bodies, bruised faces and swollen eyes among others inflicted on them by the illegal revenue collectors and touts.

Ifediata explained that government directive is that they pay a total of N200.00 daily as ticket for the Owerri road Main Market route noting that Anambra state government notice issued on October 6, 2016 and signed by Hon. Uchenna Okafor, Special Adviser to the Governor on Internally Generated Revenue, clearly stated that what the Keke operators were supposed to pay was N200 which is for: “Keke IGR and ASWAMA ticket  as one ticket for N150.00 and Ministry of Local Government traffic toll of N50.00”.

The government further warned that “anyone who dares to flout this directive and sell above the government approved rate will be made to face the wrath of the law”. The public notice also spelt out seven fees that must not be collected.

However, above the two tickets approved by the government, illegal revenue agents and touts issue extra ten extra tickets excluding ‘marker’ for which no ticket is issued. Examination of the different tickets the keke drivers displayed included the ones bearing: ‘Onitsha Ado N’Idu, Ogbaru Di Uso,
 
Loading and Offloading, and Obosi Development Union. Others are: KKAWAPU Amalgamated Tricycle Union, Anambra state, Chariot International Local Government Keke Tricycle Daily Toll, Unified Anambra state local government tolls ticket and Somata Enterprises among others. The result is that instead of the mere N200 the keke drivers are supposed to pay daily, they end up paying more than N2000.00 per day.

They pointed accusing fingers at three notorious touts who are behind the illegal ticket racketeering  who feed fat on the drivers and requested the government to arrest them.
Keke operators protest extortion, brutality again Keke operators protest extortion, brutality again Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Thursday, August 17, 2017 Rating: 5

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