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The Imo State Government has banned tricycle operators from plying all roads within the state capital, Owerri.
Consequently, commuters, including civil servants, school children, teachers and market women trekked long distances to their destinations.
The stranded commuters castigated the state government for “compounding” their predicament by banning the much popular means of movement in the town.
“They (government) said they were on a rescue mission, but the opposite is the case.
“How can a government which claims to have the interest of the masses at heart ask the Keke operators to stay away from the roads? What do they want us to do? Where are the taxi cabs they said they had introduced to replace the Keke operators?” a female civil servant who did not mention her name said.
A visit to Douglas, Wetheral, Royce, Tetlow and School roads showed frustrated commuters who waited for hours for commercial vehicles to get to their destinations.
It was however, gathered that Toyota buses, which were said to have been procured by the state government to ease the situation and which bear the inscription “Imo Black Cab,” were seen plying most of the roads; while the “Taximo” cab intermittently plied the Orlu, Orji, Egbu, Naze and Obinze axis.
Reacting to the situation, the Commissioner for Information, Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri, said there was no going back on the ban of the commercial tricycle operators by the government.
Obiareri said the state government took the decision to checkmate the activities of hoodlums who use tricycles, especially at odd hours, to perpetrate heinous crimes, as well as to restore sanity within the state capital.