The Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, Calabar Municipality chapter, Cross River State says the state government’s ban on tricycle operations in the state, limiting their operations from 6am to 6pm, they believe is a decision taken without broad consultations and further insists that those who say kidnappings in the state have mostly been executed with tricycles, have no proof and seem to have picked on the association and its members for negative personal reasons.
David Edem, Solomon Ekanem, Chairman and Assistant Secretary respectively, of the chapter, who made this submission as guests on “The Public View”, the news and current affairs programme on HIT 95.9 FM, Calabar, further maintained that while most of the kidnap cases have been executed with vehicles and not ‘keke’, as the tricycles are commonly referred to, government has however not restricted the movement of vehicles in the city.
“What we have on our hands with the kidnappings is an unfortunate security situation which should ideally demand that we collaborate with government to see how we can surmount this obstacle. In the past, our members operated with security numbers given to us by government, but government has not followed through with a review of this process to make it fool proof so that those who do not have these security numbers cannot operate. But the greatest culprits who flout our efforts and instructions are security personnel who own tricycles and refuse to register them; when we impound their unregistered tricycles, they insists we release them, without them complying”, Ekanem revealed.
Earlier in the programme, Henry Bassey Okokon, State Security Adviser, South, CRS, had maintained that most of the operators were plying routes in the city, in contravention of a directive by government to that effect. “Look at this scenario; some of our members reside at 8Miles and operate around Watt market – the only way they can get to Watt market from 8Miles is through the highway. Please is there an alternative route that we can use? However, when government recognizes that we need to work together, it will be an easy task apprehending all those, apart from the example I gave, who the SSA is referring to.
They however appealed that government will reconsider her position on the ban as the economy is biting her members and their operations badly.
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