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 Ikpeazu set to extend KEKE operational time in Abia  * Gives conditions  * Extension may take effect Monday if.. .

 Ikpeazu set to extend KEKE operational time in Abia
* Gives conditions
* Extension may take effect Monday if.. .
 Steve Oko
After months of mixed reactions, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has given conditions for possible extension of the operational time of tricycles in the commercial city of Aba and Umuahia the state capital.
The State Government had shortly after the 2019 general elections fixed 6:00 am to  7:00 pm as the operational time of tricycles popularly known as KEKE but the action generated public row.
Government, however, said the measure  was to counter the rising cases  of KEKE- induced crimes including snatching of bags, robbery and kidnappings.
Security agencies have however taken undue advantage of the limited time to fleece the defaulters who part with as high as N15,000 or forfeit their KEKE .
But the Governor has hinted he could extend the operational time to 9:00 pm but on the condition that the operators “must commit to the prevention of criminal use of their tricycles to perpetrate crimes.”
Governor Ikpeazu gave the condition at a parley with the leadership of the Keke Operators known as the Abia State Amalgamated Tricycle Operators Association (ASATOA) held at the Governor’s Lodge Aba.
The Governor had personally invited the leadership of the Union in Aba and Umuahia to inform them that he was  not happy that their operational hours was limited but he was left with no choice owing to the consistent use of Keke to commit crimee.
According to a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Onyebuchi Ememanka, Ikpeazu challenged the tricycle operators  to “rise to the occasion and flush out criminal elements amongst their membership”.
He said noted that the perpetrators of the crime were not genuine Keke operators but bad eggs among them.
The Governor told them to develop a comprehensive database of their registered members with full particulars of their persons as a way to help checkmate the use of Keke to convey criminals.
He reminded them that he had a close affinity with transport unions having served as the General Manager of the Abia State Passengers Insurance Manifest Scheme (ASPIMS) and made it known that transport operators are key stakeholders in the economy of the state and should not allow few bad eggs to paint them in bad light.
Ikpeazu also  urged them to form task forces to help monitor the activities of their members with a view to identifying the ones who engage in illegal activities.
Governor Ikpeazu told them that if they could show this commitment in writing and outline clear measures on how they will achieve this, and bring the document to his office on Monday, he would immediately extend their operational time.
He also assured them that his administration will support them to achieve this in every possible way.
Responding, the leaders of ASATOA in Aba and Umuahia respectively thanked the Governor for his favourable disposition towards their affairs, and assured of their readiness to comply.
The Aba Chapter Leader told the Governor that they had already implemented a detailed database of their members with specific numbers assigned to each Tricycle for easy identification.
According to him, this measure has helped reduce the use of Keke in criminal activities in Aba.
He told the Governor that they “regularly catch criminals who use Keke to commit crimes and hand them over to the Police and even fund their prosecution.”
Steve Oko, Publisher/C.E.O, WaWa News Global. For more information on advert placement and news coverage, contact us on: 08038725600, or via email [email protected]; [email protected] Always read WaWa News Global - Your most dependable online news platform for the latest breaking news in Nigeria.

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