Umuahia tricycle operators protest weekly ticketing, petrol price increase

Tricycle operators, also known as Keke NAPEP, on Monday, in Abia State, took over some strategic locations of Umuahia to protest the N2,000 weekly ticketing system allegedly introduced by the State Ministry of Transport.

The commercial Keke riders also lamented the recent increase in the pump price of fuel, saying the sale of a litre of petrol at N750, renders their daily toiling useless.

The riders who carried placards and tree leaves seized the popular Isi gate centre between 9:30 am and 11 am, using their tricycles to block the road against vehicles coming from Umuwaya Road, Corporative, Warri Street, Item Street and Ohafia Street.

They also refused to carry passengers going towards the Ubakala axis.

The riders who called for the immediate suspension of the weekly revenue payment system appealed to Governor Alex Otti to direct the Ministry of Transport and all concerned revenue authorities to revert to the N350 daily payment which according to them was more convenient for them.

Apart from this, they demanded an end to the harassment of their members by touts and also appealed to the Abia government to provide them with more packing space in Umuahia to drop passengers.

One of the protesters, Ike Jerry, said his union members have been supportive of the administration of Governor Alex Otti which culminated in the bloc vote they gave him in the 2023 governorship election.

“We believe the Governor is not aware of this new ticket arrangement. That is why we want him to intervene now and order these task force people to revert to the daily ticket arrangement.”

Another protester, Chinonso Ogukwe said that the state government should not allow touting which it earlier abolished to return

Some other group of tricycle operators also took their peaceful protest to the Abia State government house where they were addressed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Entertainment and Tourism matters, Martins Okechukwu Justice,

The Special Assistant who commended the riders for being peaceful, promised to channel their complaints to Governor Alex Otti.

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