By Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Some residents of Rivers State mostly affected by the ban on tricycles on selected major roads by Governor Nyesom Wike are groaning and want the governor to rescind his decision.
Residents who called into a Port Harcourt radio station on Thursday said the ban would further frustrate their movements in the state capital and environs as taxi cabs and buses did not ply all routes.
Wike had on Wednesday announced the ban in the operation of tricycles on major roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
The state government had first directed the prohibition of their operation on August 30, 2020.
A Tricycle driver, Tony Okmas, said he was a motorcycle driver before it was banned under the previous administration of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and that he managed to buy his tricycle on hired purchase after driving for someone for years.
“I am yet to fully pay back the loan and my route is among those banned. How do I survive. Do they want me to steal? Do the people in government ever consider the plight of the masses?” He queried.
The governor had said that the decision was part of his administration’s commitment to restore sanity and enhance free traffic flow on roads in the state capital.
He urged residents to give the administration more time to conclude the setting up of the task force to enforce the ban on illegal street trading and motor parks along public roads.
Wike, spoke in an address to Rivers people late on Wednesday night, said “In addition, and as a further step towards securing public safety, I have approved the ban on the operations of tricycles (popularly known as “Keke NAPEP”) on all major roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas, including: Aggrey road, Dame Patience Jonathan road (Creek road), Eastern Bypass road, Ikwerre road, Aba road, Agip road, Ada George road, Olu Obasanjo road, Rumuokwuta – Rumuola road, Rumuepirikom – Rumuolumeni (leading to Ignatius Ajuru University of Education) road, Rumuokwuta – Choba road, Chief G.U. Ake road, Dr Peter Odili road, Ken Saro-Wiwa road, Nkpogu road, Trans-Amadi road, Elekahia – Rumuomasi road, Yakubu Gowon road which is known as Old Aba road, and Woji – Elelenwo road”.
He urged security agencies and the Ministry of Transport to enforce the ban by arresting and prosecuting anyone who disobeyed the directive.
The governor also appealed to tricycle operators to respect the ban by limiting their operations to the inner roads which were safer and more appropriate for their services to avoid arrest, prosecution and confiscation of their.