HomeMagazinePoliticsEnugu Govt Disband Commercial Tricycle Task Forces

Enugu Govt Disband Commercial Tricycle Task Forces

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The Enugu State Government has suspended all task forces responsible for regulating commercial tricycles, popularly known as Keke, until a subsequent directive is given.

Mr. Ogbonna Idike, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Transport, made the announcement on Saturday in Enugu following a meeting with the executives and members of the commercial tricycle union.

The ministry convened the meeting in light of a peaceful protest organized by a faction of the tricycle union on Friday, highlighting incidents of harassment and extortion by tricycle taskforce members in the Enugu metropolis.

Idike clarified that the dissolution applies to all task forces, whether legally or unlawfully constituted, responsible for regulating tricycle operators, and it will be implemented without delay.

In a scathing remark, the permanent secretary condemned the tricycle operators for neglecting to officially report the matter to the ministry in a timely manner, even though the ministry’s offices were available to the public and road stakeholders, particularly drivers/riders.

He expressed amazement that the ministry had been unaware of this detrimental and inhuman situation until now.

Read also: Enugu State: FRSC Warns Motorists Against Traffic Offences

‘Henceforth, the state government, through the ministry, will streamline and sanction all transport union task forces to conform to best practices and standards as well as ensure that hoodlums and thugs do not hijack such exercises.’

‘First, the union must apply and get the approval of the ministry; while those to carry out the task force duty will be well known and well profiled with numbered reflective aprons, identification cards and they must be properly dressed.’

‘All taskforce members must be duly trained by the ministry on how to carry out their duties in the most courteous manner that will not disturb public peace but attract commendation due to discipline and professionalism in carrying out such duties.’

‘The ministry will also clearly specify what an offence is and the attendant fine and penalty of such an offence. It will not be arbitrary or outright extortion again,’ he added.

According to Idike, ministry officials and traffic officers diligently perform their duties on public holidays and weekends to promptly address traffic control and resolve issues arising between drivers, union members, and other road users.

‘The ministry is here to promote and ensure that Gov. Peter Mbah’s target of making the state become a more productive and prosperous state for all will be achieved,’ he said.

Mr. Sunday Ozeh, Chairman of the Association of Tricycle Riders Transport Union, responded by expressing his appreciation to the government for its timely intervention. He acknowledged the association’s commitment to complying with the ministry’s guidance and actions aimed at enhancing operational efficiency.

Ozeh called on the state government, in partnership with the ministry, to engage with the Council chairmen in order to ensure that the tricycle task force officials operate exclusively within their assigned local government parks, as specified in their mandates.

Mr. Chinedu Nsude and Mr. Peter Emmanuel, both keke riders, shared their experiences of being incessantly harassed by the recently dissolved taskforce members. They narrated instances where they were compelled to pick up passengers at distant locations from their designated tricycle parks and subjected to paying a fine of N3,500.

‘If you argue over the illegal fines with them; they will allege that you have fought with them and forcefully drag you to their parks and collect N10,500 as a fine for fighting.’

‘We no longer meet our daily remittance to the tricycle owners; since most of them are on hire purchase agreement, due to the unwarranted intimidation and extortion by the so-called task force members,’ they lamented.

In attendance at the meeting were officials from the Ministry of Transport, along with executive members, board members, and representatives from the tricycle union in the state.

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