Passengers stranded as Keke operators protest in Niger

Passengers stranded as Keke operators protest in Niger
Keke Napep ShuttersStock

Commuters were stranded in the early hours of Monday as tricycle riders popularly called Keke Napep declared a temporary strike over harassment and high taxation in Minna, the capital of Niger State.

Students and other passengers were seen around the state capital walking miles to their various destinations.

It would be recalled that the state government some months ago banned the operation of commercial motorcycles over the insecurity bedevilling the state.

The State Government release some vehicles to ease the movement of people within the state capital while tricycle operation also increased.

A Task Force team was also inaugurated to implement the banning of the okada operation and ensure strict compliance.

One of the operators, Aminu Idris who spoke to The PUNCH lamented over extortion and other illegality by the state task force.

"We decided to protest by not picking passengers to drive home our grievances against some illegality by the state taskforce enforcing the banning of okada riding and the high tax imposed on us," Idris said.

In his reaction to the report, Secretary to the Government, Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, said the task force did not have any business with the tricycle riders except when they carry overload. He added that the issue they have is with the Chanchaga Local Government over revenue.

"The only issue they have is overloading because we stopped them from carrying too many passengers and to far places outside Minna.

"We cannot allow them to carry passengers to surrounding villages because we want to reduce accidents and fatality rates.

"Those roads they are plying are for trucks and other big vehicles. If that is what they meant by harassment, we would ensure that no life is lost to such carelessness," Matane said.

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