Following continued illegal collection of Government levies and dues banned by Governor Willie Obiano from tricycle operators in Anambra State in view of COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the union has rietrated it’s ban for all forms of levies by its members forthwith.
Odogwublog repots that Obiano had directed that all forms of levies be suspended in the state for months of April and May but some unscrupulous elements continued to collect the levies from tricycle operators in the state.

To this end, the Tricycle owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN),an affiliate of Trade Union Congress (TUC), has asked all it’s members to stop all forms of payment to any person whosever within this period.
The Anambra State Chairman,Keke Union, Comrade Obiorah Sylvester in a Public service announcement, dated 8th April 2020 enjoined the Security agencies to henceforth, arrest any person found extorting money from Keke Riders across the state as a measure to deter others engaged in such acts.
It would be recalled that the members of the Keke Union have been kicking against illegal dues and levies imposed on them by their leaders before this statement clarifying the Stand of the Keke leaders.

Hundreds of Keke Napep drivers within the capital territory had protested last week at Amawbia over the extortion.
The Keke Napep drivers were being forced to pay N450 daily ticket even when Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state had cancelled it. They accused their leaders of exploiting the drivers.
One of the Keke drivers had said: “Are you aware that the Keke drivers were still being exploited by their so called union leaders in spite of Anambra State Government’s announcement to stop tickets sales to keke and bus drivers, etc as a palliative measures to cussion the effect of the sit-at-home.
“Yesterday, that’s Wednesday last week, the Keke Union leaders and their numerous staff defied Government order as they stormed many Keke loading locations in Awka and forcefully sold tickets to drivers.
” This was because the Keke driver were afraid of being beaten up, they had to buy the tickets.
” The Union was forcing the Keke drivers to buy substandard hand sanitizers from the Union office at the cost of N1,200. Was this not exploitation of the highest order? Was it supposed to be?
“This development was grossly unfair, inhuman, extortive, wired and sabotaging to State Government directives geared towards alleviating the pains of the people. Most of the affected were afraid to report this happenings for the fear of being beaten, attacked or face untimely death.

” Keke drivers in Awka were being exploited by their leaders, but they were afraid to voice out their ordeal.
“Please take this message to the appropriate quarters for SOS intervention from these Shylock leaders that were bent on milking the Keke drivers dry.
“Remember Government ordered us to suspend sales of tickets and levies on keke/tricycles drivers for April and May or so.
“The aggrieved tricycle drivers pressured Governor Obiano to reduce the amount that was collected in each Keke loading points in Awka South and to close some illegal toll collection centres springing up in Awka town
“The Keke Union today, Tuesday 7th April, 2020, dispatched her taskforce members for the second day, to various Keke loading locations and major roads in Awka South LGA to force Keke drivers purchase the daily Union and IGR tickets of N450, even as the State Government had suspended those tickets for two months.
Investigation revealed that the Keke Union/taskforce made some of them to suspend work until 6pm when taskforce should have closed work officially.
Anambra
Keke Rider
The most painful aspect of that day’s operation, as recounted by a Keke driver, was that the Keke Union/taskforce stormed their loading locations to harass drivers who did not buy tickets during the day. One driver claimed that at 7pm that day some taskforce members came to Ukwu-orji bustop, along Zik’s Avenue major road, harassing Keke drivers that did not buy N450 tickets that day.
When we made contact with some persons commissioned by the Keke Union to sell tickets, it was discovered the they were afraid to sell tickets openly for fear of being arrested by police. They also informed us that they were careful not to keep the tickets with them. Another ticket seller claimed that they were forced by the Union to sell the tickets and since they do not want to lose their job they had to take the risk.

The Keke drivers were calling on His Excellency, Akpokudike Aguleri, Chief Willie Obiano to intervene in this matter as it was only him that can solve this problems.
On the wake of Covid 19 invasion of nations and in the bid to stop the spread, the Government of Anambra State gave some directives on the way forward, including suspension of sales of tickets to tricycle (Keke) drivers.

But , with the clarification now by Comrade Obiorah Sylvester, the state chairman, the levies remained illegal and perpetrators caught would be punished .
Axact

ANAMBRA UPDATE

Anambra Update is an independent publication, established in 2012 for the purpose of presenting balanced coverage of events, and of promoting the best interests of Anambra and Ndigbo in extention. It owes allegiance to no political party, ethnic community, religious or other interest group. Its primary commitment is to the integrity and sovereignty of the Federation of Nigeria, and beyond that to the unity and sovereignty of Igbo Social-Cultural Race

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