By Phil Okose Onitsha
Tricycle (keke) operators in Onitsha and environs, Anambra state, are said to have defied Governor Willie Obiano’s order that tricycles and shuttle buses should not operate between 7pm-6pm in the bid, by the state government, to checkmate crime and criminality associated with such vehicles in the recent in the state.
As observed by this paper, the tricycle operators continue to operate as if the ban was never issued, even operating as late as 10pm before shutting down.
It was gathered that the absence of security operatives, especially the police, to enforce the ban order, must have facilitated disobedience of the order.
A resident of Fegge, who simply identified himself as Nicholas, said that, “there is no ban on the keke and shuttle bus operators, as far as I am concerned, because they operate up to 10pm and nobody is disturbing them.”
“The police who are supposed to enforce the ban order are nowhere to be seen. They have been confined to the barracks.”
“Other security operatives who are also supposed to enforce the order, like the military and civil defence corps are also in the hiding. What is happening this day in the Southeast zone; it is only God that will save us from the devil,” he pleaded.
Also a trader living at Okpoko, Onitsha suburb, Peter Madu, stated that, “keke operators and their shuttle bus drivers don’t even know there is something like ban on them from 7pm to 6am.”
“I am even surprised the law enforcement agents are nowhere to be seen, talk less of enforcing the ban order by the governor.”
“As at 9pm yesterday I was at Odoakpu and when I was about to go home there were so many tricycles and shuttle buses plying the roads.
The only saving grace is that armed robbers are no longer disturbing because the people will just set any one that robs ablaze”
A civil servant who pleaded anonymity said that, “the issue is that we don’t have police around.”
“We are not happy that the ban order is not being implemented and you will not blame the police for running away for their lives,” he added further.