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Abia Govt. restricts operational hour of tricycles, motorcycles



The Abia Government on Tuesday announced the prohibition of the operation of tricycles and motorcycle in Aba and Umuahia between 7 pm and 6 am, with effect from July 1.

The Commissioner for Local Goverment and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Uzor Nwachukwu, made this known at a press conference at the end of a meeting between the government and stakeholders in the transport sector, in Umuahia.

Nwachukwu said that the decision to restrict the operating hours of tricycles and motorcycles was informed by the need to secure lives and property in Abia.

He said:”The information available to security agencies reveal that most of these robbery attacks happen in the evening hours, late night hours and very early morning hours in these cities.

“The restriction does not stop Keke and Okada operators from operating from 6am in the day to 6pm in the evening.

“So they are still doing their business; it’s just that the state government has decided to curb the operations of these criminals who use these means of transport to perpetrate their criminal activities.”

According to him, the government had met with leadership of the relevant unions of the operators and urged all residents to comply accordingly.

He said that government would equally attempt to review the restriction when it becomes necessary and said security agents have been alerted on the development.

Nwachukwu said that the government would implement the policy with human face assuring the people that there would be no victimisation of any innocent individual.

He said that as part of measures to enhance security in the state, the government would commence a compulsory enumeration and registration of all commercial vehicles in the state.

Nwachukwu also said that the exercise would enable the government and security agencies to identify the real owners and operators of commercial vehicles for security purposes.

The commissioner said that a committee had been set up to that effect, with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Navy Commander MacDonald Ubah (Rtd) as the Chairman.

He also said that the government set up the committee to ensure effective compliance by all commercial vehicle operators in the state.

“Security is everyone’s business, and we want everybody to please take this message home because to develop as a state, we must ensure that there is safety and security of lives and property in Abia,” he said.

In his remark, the Technical Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Charles Egeonu, said that the present administration evolved policies focused on improving the welfare of the people.

Egeonu said that the government had engaged with the tricycle and motorcycle operators and believed that their deliberation would be very fruitful.

He said:” Please bear in mind that it is a decision that we would undertake and would attempt to review as we go along.”

In their separate speeches, Mr Victor Azubuike, the Chairman of Abia State Tricycle Operators Union (ASTOU), Aba Zone, the Chairman, Umuahia zone, Mr Godson Chinwotito, and the Chairman of Abia State Motorcycle Operators Union, Mr Chiemela Ugboaja , described the restriction as a “welcome development”.

They commended the government for getting them involved in the process of formulating the new policy and assured that their members would comply accordingly.

Ihechinyere Chigemeri-uwom

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