‘Keke NAPEP’ operators protest clampdown in Abuja
Hundreds of members of the National Commercial Tricycle And Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (NATOMORAS) yesterday in Abuja said the clamp down of tricycles also known as Keke NAPEP in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is illegal and urged the minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to intervene and save thousands of commuters the hardship of connecting to the city center by regulating the tricycle operation rather than phase them out completely.
The tricycle operators made the allegation during a protest organised in conjunction with the Alliance for Credible Election (ACE-Nigeria).
NATOMORAS Chairman, Alhaji Usman Buba Gwosa, also lamented the harassement meted to their members by security agencies even when they ply designated routes authorized by the Directorate of Road Traffic services of the FCTA since 2011.
“They have in turn transferred their aggression on the commercial tricycle operators in various area of Abuja, illegally arresting and extorting money from them including vandalising and seizure of their tricycle so as to intimidate them off the road. The Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp officials including the Directorate of the Road Traffic Service officials have been in the forefront of this wholesome act,’’ he said.
He said the association has written to the FCT minister five times over the matter and made series of attempts to meet him and address the matter but to no avail, adding that the action of the FCT in trying to phase out tricycle operators will lead to massive unemployment. In his remark, the general secretary of the ACENigeria, Emma Ezeazu, said the act of the FCT administration in clamping down on the tricycle operators was tantamount to administrative wickedness and denying Nigerians their rights.