Alleged mass arrest: Tricycle operators protest in Abuja - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Monday, November 11, 2019

Alleged mass arrest: Tricycle operators protest in Abuja

Over 40,000 operators of tricycles (popularly known as keke) in Abuja would be under serious threat as the Federal Capital Territory Administration begins mass arrest of those who fail to comply with the restriction order and ban from the city.

During a protest in Abuja against the decision to enforce the mass arrest which kicks off on Tuesday, they threatened to seek redress at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria to fight for their rights.

The National President of Tricycle Owners Association, Austin Apeh, and Chairman, Welfare Enforce Enforcement in FCT, Thomas Danjuma, told journalists in Abuja on Monday during the protest that they would also ask the Court to determine whether the FCTA had the legislation from the National Assembly before the clampdown.

According to them, the government should disband the FCT Ministerial Joint Taskforce on Keke in the interest of peace.

Apeh said, “The FCTA said they would be banning us from the major routes and restrict us to the estates and villages. The decision is going to throw many people into the job markers because keke business feeds over 40,000 persons in Abuja. We want to be proactive and come out on time because another evil is coming after the same assault 17 years ago.

“The government should disband the FCT Ministerial Joint Taskforce on Keke. We will go to the NICN to challenge the decision and fight for our rights. We will find out if they have the legislation from the National Assembly.

“Politically, they are betraying our trust because the present administration approached us for assistance during the 2019 general elections and we did our best to bring them to power. It is unfortunate that the people we brought to the office have turned against us. A tricycle costs N680,000 and if you multiply it by 40,000, you will know the investments that will be wasted.”

The TOA’s President also called on the Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Musa Bello, to caution the Taskforce “which operates like terrorists.”

He said, “They have formed a very dangerous Taskforce including Police, Army, Immigration, Civil Defence, among others against us. The decision is going to increase crime in the country, especially in the North. The FCT Minister should act fast.

“They are saying Keke should be restricted. In England, they have introduced tricycle; in New Delhi, it is the same. They claim tricycles are used for robbery. It is like giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it. When security fails, they look for where to put the blame. Although there are deviants everywhere, there are also good people.

“If there are bad ones among us, the government should deal with the bad eggs. By the time you stop 40,000 persons from using keke because of alleged robbery, you will be multiplying the problem. The FCTA said they want to bring buses, but we know they are looking for a way of making money. They want to take over the business from us.”

The present administration should be ashamed because some of the previous administrations gave us at least 100 Keke.

Danjuma said the government would be creating more troubles with the planned mass arrest and ban on tricycles in Abuja metropolis.

“We have been in this business for over two decades. This is a government we supported. I did many things to support the re-election of this government. They’re creating more trouble, more bandits and more criminals.

The Minister should convene a stakeholders’ meeting. It is every time President Buhari travels that they perpetrate all the injustices”, he stated.
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