Members of United Commercial Keke-NAPEP and Motorcycle Riders Association, UCKEMORAN, Anambra state have raised the alarm over what they termed as serious threat to their lives by members of Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria, TOAN in the process of carrying out their legitimate functions in the state.
They also accused TOAN executive of imposing multiple levies from various tickets amounting to about N5,000 per day, as against N200 approved by the state government as accrued revenue per day.
State Chairman of UCKEMORAN, Mr. Arunsi Igbanuka who raised the alarm yesterday in a press statement issued in his office in Onitsha, alleged that one Sylvester Obiora, the state Chairman of TOAN, a Government recognized Umbrella Body of all Keke operators in the state and his executive members has never given them a breathing space to operate as Keke riders in the state.
Igbanuka disclosed that since after the TOAN executive dragged them to the government, accusing them of operating a parallel union in tricycle business, their members have never known peace, to the extent that some anonymous persons usually call him on phone and issued the threat
Igbanuka noted that he was raising the alarm as a way of alerting Governor Willie Obiano and top officials of the state Ministry of Transport, as well as meaning citizens of the state and stakeholders about evil activities of the executives of Tricycle Owners Association who he accused of wanting to monopolize Keke Operation as well as continue their nefarious activities of promoting illegal and forceful collection of multiple levies from their members in the state.
Maintaining that the main objectives of the union which is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, Abuja, is to sanitize Keke transportation in the state, Igbanuka stated that their target is to tackle and stop all manners of illegal levies being collected from Keke operators, ensuring prompt payment of government approved revenues, fight criminalities by building a perfect synergy with police and other security agencies, as well as introduce a good welfare package to take care of all keke operators in the state.
But in a reaction, Sylvester Okonkwo the state TOAN Chairman denied ever threatening the life of the Chairman and his executive members, noting that he has no business with them as they are not keke drivers or owners but cofusionists who want to reap where they did not sow.
While explaining that his union is the only recognized sole union for tricycle in the state, he reinstated that no other body is authorized by Anambra government to exist in the state as allowing others will cause confusion.