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Abia reads riot act to Keke, Okada operators 

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Abia shifts date for tricycle, Okada ban by one month

As part of measures to curtail the activities of criminals and bandits in Abia state, the State Government has decided to place restrictions on the operations of tricycles, popularly called Keke, and Motorcycles between the hours of 7pm and 6am daily, in Aba and Umuahia, with effect from 1st July this year.

To enforce the new directive, a Committee led by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Navy Commander MacDonald Ubah (Rtd) has been set up, with some select Government Functionaries to oversee the registration process and ensure compliance with the new regulations.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uzo Nwachukwu, announced this at an interaction with journalists in his office in Umuahia after a meeting with stakeholders from the Transport Sector.

The Commissioner further explained that the essence of the restriction is to enhance public safety of lives and property of law abiding citizens and residents of the state.

This new directive is in response to recent security breaches reported in some parts of the state, resulting to cases of robberies and othere criminal activities happening frequently in the evening and early morning hours of the day.

“Alot of issues have been reported around pick pocketing, robberies and all that especially within the Aba area and Umuahia Area, Ogbor Hill Area, Ngwa road area where there have been reports where people were robbed while they were in Keke or people who use keke or Okada to make their escape,” he said.

“Being the Chief Security Officer of the state, in the best interest of Abians, governor Alex Otti, with the endorsement of the State Executive Council, has decided to address these issues squirly.

“In order to save the lives of Abia Citizens, especially those who are law abiding, His Excellency has decided that from the 1st of July Keke and Okada Operations will be restricted from the hours of 7pm to 6am.

“From 7pm to 6am, Keke and Okada Operations will no longer be in operation in Umuahia and ABA areas.

“By the release available to security agencies, most of these robberies and attacks happen in the evening hours and very early morning hours in the two cities.

“The decision does not stop them (Keke & Okada riders) from operating from 6am in the day to 6pm In the evening. So they are still doing their business, it’s just that the state government has decided to curb the operations of these criminals who use this means of transport to perpetrate their criminal activities.

Prince Nwachukwu added that in addition to the restrictions, the State Government would implement a comprehensive registration and enumeration process for all commercial vehicles, in the state.

He said that the measure is intended to enhance traceability and accountability within the transport sector and urged all transport operators to submit themselves and their vehicles for registration as the would process commence immediately.

“The State Government also believes that it has to know exactly who is operating within our environment and so by that reason, all commercial vehicles, Okada, Tricycles, called Keke, mini buses, full buses, whatever anybody is using to run as commercial vehicle in and around Abia state will now be enumerated and registered.

“We now need to know who owns which vehicle or who is operating which vehicle so that in instances where there are robberies or attacks of any kind, by the code registrations of those vehicles, we will be able to trace who owns them and who is using them at any given point in time”, Prince Nwachukwu explained.

In his contribution, the Technical Adviser to the Government, Mr Charles Egeonye while noting that the commitment of government in creating a safer environment for its citizens remains paramount, assured that the present administration would review the restrictions periodically and make adjustments as needed.

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Also speaking, some Executive Members of various Unions including Mr. Azubuike Victor, Chairman, Tricycles Union, Aba Zone, Godson.

Chinweotito, Chairman Tricycle Union Umuahia Zone and Ugbaja Chiemela , Chairman of Motorcycles Union, endorsed the decision of the government regarding the restriction time of the operators.

They applauded the State Government for engaging key stakeholders in the transport sector in the new policy and assured that their members would comply accordingly.

 

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