Tricycle operators in Anambra protest multiple levies and harassment.


Tricycle operators in Anambra protest multiple levies and harassment.


Tricycle (keke) operators under the umbrella of Awka North and South Keke Drivers Welfare Forum of Anambra State,  yesterday protested over what they described as  obnoxious levies and harassment by the government task force.

The keke operators drove round Aroma, through Enugu-Awka-Onitsha express way to Unizik junction before they converged beside  the Alex Ekwueme square, as they displayed placards with various inscriptions.

The placards carried inscriptions like, "Say no to monthly dues quoted for security money", "Government can not continue to play Ostrich to our plight", We are Union not slaves to tax masters", "Say no to cultist leadership", Say no to intimidation and physical abuse to Keke operators".

Speaking to newsmen yesterday at the Alex Ekwueme square gate, the Convener, Awka North and South Keke Drivers Welfare Forum, Comrade Osita Obi alleged that operators paid various illegal dues, harassed and intimidated  by self acclaimed leadership of Keke agents approved by government, in addition to harassment by cultists who infiltrated the Keke operators business.

Obi who frowned on governments' refusal to grant them access into the Alex Ekwueme square however listed alleged levies to include the following:membership registration of N45,000, membership ID card yearly renewal N2,500, bucket N6,800, ATMC N4600, painting of gate colour N5,500, re-registration of union N5,000, and end of year levy N4,500.

Others levies are hand over ID yearly renewal N3,500, Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria(TOAN) inscription N2,500, Union logo in script red(CTORWAS) N1,500, monthly due quoted for security money N800 among others. 

"The agitation is that Keke operators be allowed to organise themselves, hold election to pick their leaders. We are working to restore sanity in Awka North and South area.

"A lot of people have been killed, many operators are extorted by cultists, if any thing happens to operators, we will hold government responsible.

"Keke operators are no longer ready to pay obnoxious levies", Obi said as he commended security operatives who provided security for the event and the newly Governorship elect, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, hoping that he will not encourage this extortion by this so called Keke leadership.

Also speaking, Collins Ude Chidubem, a Keke operator said that they have complained severally to the state government but have not received any response.

He said the acclaimed Keke leadership recruited spies to monitor their activities, creating fears among members.

In his reaction, the state government requested any member forced to pay levy in respect of end of year party /get together to immediately report to office of Ministry of Transport.

A statement signed by Dr Emma Ude Akpeh the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport on behalf of the Hon Commissioner, said, "The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to increasing cases of alleged attempts by some persons claiming to be officials of Tricycle (Keke) Union in the state  to compel tricycle riders to pay certain levy for End of Year party/get together".

The Ministry however said that members of recognized/registered transport unions who elect not to participate in such must never be compelled to participate or pay any levy to that effect by any whether union official or not.


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