Tricycle operators, commonly referred to as Keke NAPEP riders, once again organized a peaceful demonstration outside the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.
Their demonstration, which involved approximately 75 transporters, was prompted by ongoing issues with the recently implemented online ticket payment system introduced by the state government. This protest on Tuesday marked the second such event in the span of a week, as they had previously gathered last Thursday.
The Keke NAPEP operators positioned their tricycles along both sides of the road, spanning from the UBA junction to the Zenith Bank area, forming a sizable assembly in front of the government house. Prominent figures among the Keke NAPEP operators, including Okwuchi Zubi, Onyedikachi Matthew, and Chibuzor Uguru, voiced concerns over alleged harassment by ticket enforcement agents and other troublemakers due to the ongoing ticketing issue.
Uguru shared, “Last week, they initially informed us that the online ticket system had been temporarily suspended. The following day, we were told that the portal was still operational, but many of us continued to encounter difficulties using it.”
The operators appealed to the state government to address the network-related challenges affecting the online ticketing scheme, emphasizing their willingness to purchase tickets as needed. Policemen stationed at the government house played a role in pacifying the Keke NAPEP operators during the demonstration.
Deputy Governor Ikechuckwu Emetu had previously instructed tricycle operators in the state to continue using the online ticket payment portal. In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Eke Mba, the deputy governor advised the Keke NAPEP operators to seek guidance from the relevant government revenue agency to resolve their daily ticket payment concerns, emphasizing that compliance with this directive would spare them further inconvenience.
At the time of reporting, the Keke NAPEP riders remained stationed in front of the government house, insisting that high-ranking government officials address their concerns before they would disperse.