Residents and Drivers of tricycle, popularly known as Keke Napep in Calabar, Cross River State Capital have taken to the streets, a peaceful over the state government’s decision to ban the means of Transportation in the metropolis.
Information reaching Calabar Reporters said the state Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has alleged to ban the riding of Keke Napep in the Calabar metropolis; this will in turn reduce the rate of crime, especially in the Calabar South axis.
Before now, the state government had regulated the time for the 3-seater Tricycle to be rode in the state; from 8:00am-5:00pm. Although the residents have frown on the Government decision, saying it only increased their sufferings, irrespective of the crimes these tricycles are being used for.
Couple of times back if you can recalled, Calabar Reporters had reported cases of a woman being kidnapped using a Keke Napep at the E. E. Okon by Shanahan axis. Others were snatching of hand bags and petty cash shop rubbery, etc.
The government moved on to set a legislation that all commercial Keke Napep be painted Navy blue and white, the state’s colour which broiled up some protest too, although the drivers cooperated later on.
If you also recalled, the former State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke in 2010 banned the use of motorcycles also known as bikes or okada(s) in Calabar which other states follow suit including the nation’s capital, Abuja. That actually aided in curbing the crime involving the use of bikes, but it was only short-lived. The later introduced Keke Napep which became like an oil-industry job for many.
The ban of Keke Napep to many will only increase the activities and crime rates in the state. Some are urging the government to consider it decision and consider the lifestyle of it citizenry especially in this time of economic downturn.
Efforts to reach the appropriate Agency involved in the regulations of Keke Napep and other commercial vehicles so to hear from proved abortive.
Some of the placards held by the Keke Napep drivers carried messages like, “We are Nigerians, we have the freedom of association and Association is by choice”. See photos below;