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Keke Operators’ Restriction: Buses, Taxi Cabs Hike Fare

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Following the current order restraining tricycle operators popularly known as “Keke Napep” not to operate beyond 7pm in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, commercial bus and taxi drivers have seized the opportunity to hike fares.
The Tide reports that the 7pm restriction for Keke operation time came at the heels of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike marching order to Traditional rulers mandating them to tackle insecurity in their respective domain.
Based on this mandate, Royal fathers in the respective communities pegged 7pm as closing time for tricycle operators whom they alleged were involved in robbery and snatching of bags in the area.
Though the restriction order did not go well with the tricycle operators, Mr Sunday Amanwo a Keke driver, attested to the fact that most of the drivers were into robbery, saying that there was an incident at night where a keke double crossed a vehicle and robbed the car owner then zoomed off untraced. He also noted an incident where unsuspected victims bags were snatched with keke, lamenting that the criminal activities of some of the operators had portrayed their business in a bad light.
Meanwhile commercial bus and taxi drivers who have taken over the job of keke drivers had hiked the transport fares in some of the routes in the area.
Speaking to our correspondent, a taxi driver, Ibe Jorome who ply along Rumuokoro, Rumuagholu route, said the hike on transport fare from the usual N50.00 a drop to N100.00 was burn out of high demand for their services.
According to him, “the 7pm time was a rush hour and the passengers were more than the available buses and taxis, so the only option was to reap from the business opportunity. But it would be temporary pending when commercial buses and tax would flood the route which would eventually force the price back to N50.00.
A passenger Mr Ijeoma Wordu who spoke to our correspondent, lamented over the untold hardship time restriction had caused them, saying that at the close of market on Saturday, she and two children had to treck over six kilometer to their home due to lack of keke.
She also said that the available commercial buses and taxis were hard reach due to rush by crowd inspite of the hike in price.

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Transport

Monarch Tasks RSG, NDDC On Chokota-Umuebulu Road

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The Onye Ishi Ala Chokota in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, Eze I.S. Wekeh, has appealed to the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to add Chokota-Ikwerengwo-Umuebulu Road to their respective priority projects with a view to rehabilitating the road.

Eze Wekeh who made the appeal recently while speaking with newsmen urged the state government to come to the aid of the residents in the area, saying the area hosts several oil wells mined by Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), therefore playing a key role in the revenue generation of the nation.

According to him, “during the time the present state government flagged-off the construction of Igbo-Rumuokwurusi Road, there was an assurance that Chokota-Ikwerengwo-Umuebulu Road will be rehabilitated, but we are still hopeful that the road is still dear to his heart, as we are still expecting result. I am also appealing to NDDC to come to the aid of the inhabitants of the area as well as the multinational corporation operating in the area”.

A resident in the area, Mrs Adaku Amadi, who spoke to The Tide, said “Things are very difficult here for us due to the bad road. Our mothers use to go to the farm with bicycle or motor cycle and they usually fall on the bad road. Some pregnant women will deliver without any medical treatment because of lack of access to medication due to bad road. So we are appealing to government to help us alleviate this suffering by rehabilitating the road”.

Another resident in the area, Mr Paul Wosu, said “my brother, we use to suffer here and we are expecting government to do something, even NDDC as an interventionist agency to come to our aid. Now you can drive in because everywhere is dry, but during the rainy season, you can not dare it, because the flood will drown you. We are still appealing for positive response from the relevant authorities”.

It would be recalled that the NDDC had sometime in 2006 promised to fix the road as part of their priority projects, but could not mobilise to site till date a result, the state government promised to rehabilitate the road.

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FRSC To Prosecute Users Of Unworthy Heavy Duty Trucks

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The Plateau State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it would impound and prosecute users of unworthy heavy duty trucks and articulated vehicles within Jos metropolis.

The command disclosed this in a statement signed by Route Commander Andrew Bala, its Public Education Officer, yesterday in Jos.

It expressed worry over the rampant and incessant crashes and breakdown of heavy duty trucks and articulated vehicles within the Jos metropolis.

“Crash investigation and analysis has shown that most of these crashes and breakdowns are as a result of brake failure and mechanical deficient vehicles.

“It is in this light that the command is admonishing all owners of heavy duty trucks, articulated and dysfunctional vehicles to carry out routine checks and repairs on their vehicles.

“Very soon, the command will carry out a special patrol to wipe out and prosecute offenders of unworthy vehicles within the Jos metropolis and environs that ply the highways,” the statement said.

The command advised motorists to keep enough distance from heavy duty trucks or articulated vehicles on the highway to allow for safe manoeuvering in case of any mishap.

It said that the task of ensuring safety on the highway is a shared responsibility.

It appealed to all road users to obey all traffic rules and regulations as anyone found wanting would be sanctioned accordingly.

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Flyover: Commissioner Calls For Patience Over Traffic Congestion

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Following the ongoing construction of Rumuokoro flyover by the construction giant, Julius Berger Plc, the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Austin Ben Chioma, has urged motorists and road users to exercise patience and bear with the traffic situation as the construction of the flyover project progresses.

The Commissioner  made the appeal on Monday in a chat with newsmen while supervising the demolition of structures at the garrison flyover construction site in Port Harcourt

He noted the traffic problems associated with the construction of Rumuokoro flyover and assured that measures would be put in place to ensure free flow of traffic at Rumuokoro.

According to him, “The company has just started the flyover at Rumuokoro, Very soon, we will work out modalities to alleviate the flow of traffic at that area. I appeal that people, especially motorists should exercise patience pending when the project will be completed. It is for the good of the whole”.

The Tide reports that Julius Berger, had since last week, blocked one of the two lanes along Eliozu-Rumuokoro Road, leaving one lane to serve the motorists.

Meanwhile, The Tide gathered that some policemen and soldiers from Bori Camp were collecting N50 each from commercial drivers who run one way along Eliozu route.

Speaking to The Tide, a taxi driver who plies Rumuokoro-Eliozu route, John Jide, said, “soldiers from Bori Camp came on the road through their back gate to the road and started collecting N50 with the allegation that we were running against the lane (one way), when it has officially been approved that motorists should use one way pending when there will be alternative provision, as the flyover construction lasts”.

Another taxi driver who plies same route, Igwe Ajam, said “police and army are disturbing us on this route. They extort so much from us. You meet police check point, they will collect N50, you move further you see a gang of soldiers, you pay another N50, but private motors that are also running that same one way are allowed to go free.

“Their target is commercial taxi, we want government to look into this because we are not deliberately running one way if not for the approval of the authorities that be”.

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