Henceforth, tricycles popularly called ‘Keke Napep’ operating in Cross River State without being duly registered with the tricycle union would be impounded, Chairman of tricycle Union in the state, Pastor Ekpenyong Nya has said
Nya, who stated this in a chat with the Nigerian Tribune in Calabar said the union was working with security agencies to arrest tricycle operators that did not have the union’s registration tag.
He said the measure was aimed at checkmating the menace of crime in the state.
According to him, criminals hide under the guise of being tricycle operators to perpetrate heinous crimes, adding that the union’s registration tag would contribute in no small measure to identifying each operator.
Nya said, “We have observed that some criminals use keke to rob and they will say it is our member. So, in order to identify our members, we have agreed that all tricycles should carry the union tag. This is to enable us identify you in case of any crime. As it stands, any keke not carrying our registration tag should be impounded and the operator arrested’’
This is even as the Chief Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) in the state, Chief Paul Bepeh, threatened to impound tricycles plying the road without being duly captured and certified in the ongoing biometric exercise carried out by the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO).
Bepeh stated this in Calabar while declaring open a 3-week biometric exercise for Keke operators in the state.
He said following the upsurge in crime in the state, the exercise became necessary to enable the VIO regulate the activities of keke operators.
Bepeh said, “The biometric exercise is absolutely necessary to enable us regulate and ensure that tricycle operators follow the laid down rules and regulations for better service so that we would have less crisis, less theft issues.
“Recently, there were cases of kidnap and theft with the use of Keke. So, there is need for us to get their data and know them. There is need for us to give them routes and feeder roads to ply. Besides, they need to have basic knowledge of road signs and regulations.
“We have captured some of them and inspected the quality of their Keke to ensure that anyone that is roadworthy is issued with tags. It is also to ensure that they have orientation and are licensed to operate in those routes.
He said prior to the issuance of a drivers and roadworthiness tag, the image of each keke operator would be captured and stored in the state database to ascertain the number of tricycle operators in the state.
The VIO boss warned that at the end of the 3-week exercise, any tricycle plying the road without drivers and roadworthiness tag would be impounded and the operator charged to revenue court set up by the state government.
“If your Keke is not seen with a roadworthiness tag and you don’t have a driver’s licence hanged on your neck at the end of the three weeks exercise, your keke will be impounded and you will be charged to revenue court recently set up by the state government.
“If you are a certified keke operator, everything about you will be in the Cross River State Data base, we are going to share the data base with the police, FRSC and other agencies that will need it so that they will be aware that everything about our members has captured.