Anambra Commuters lament as Keke, Shuttle Bus Operators continue strike


By Kamsi Anayo and John Ugo

Commuters and other road users in Awka and most parts of Anambra state have begun to lament the frustration currently facing them as the protest by the Keke and Shuttle Bus Operators enters second day.

The protest which began on Thursday following the enforcement attempt by the Anambra state Revenue Task Force on the payment of the N15.000.00 and N25,000.00 tax for the two operators saw members of the public trekking long distances to their respective destinations.

As early as 7.40 am Friday morning Keke and Shuttle Bus Operators found to be carrying passengers were either forced to off load or the bus or Keke are smashed.

As a result of the strike, public servants in Awka and those in the private businesses had to walk to their offices and shops while the lucky ones got lifts from friends and public spirited individuals.

Mrs Margret Nwokoye a staff with Ministry of Health lamented that she has not experienced such a thing before adding that if the protest continue next week she and her colleagues would not go to work again until the matter is resolved.

“What is going on here? Most of us had to walk from Amawbia Flyover up to kwata junction before we got a good man that took us to the Secretariat with his bus.”

Andrew Chikwuelobe a trader at Amaenyi market Awka narrated his ordeal in the hands of the protesters;

“I chattered a shuttle bus to carry my goods and midway after the Eke Awka main market they stopped the shuttle bus and forced him to off load my goods and I begged them to consider my fragile goods but they refused.

“So I had to off load and remained there for over two hours before I got my colleague at the market who came with his car and helped me; he said.

At the State Secretariat Awka the offices were almost empty as only a hand full of workers reported to work early while the rest got to their offices at about noon.

It was gathered from the protesters that the payment of N15.000.00 and N25.000.00 monthly in bulk is too much a burden for them to carry.

They requested that the money be split into two or three for them to pay

“We did not say we are not paying tax but the amount is too much for us and you have to consider that most of this Keke Tricycle were bought under higher-purchase and we are still paying for it .

“Now if they say three times a month we can consider the payment but those whose vehicles are not at work should not be expected or compelled to pay, and I tell you this protest may continue till next week until government understands our plight;” he said.

It is being gathered that the operators are determined to continue the protest till next week if government refuses to talk to them and review the payment a development that is brewing fresh transportation crisis in the state.


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