Breaking: ”He called us miscreants, threatened to ban Keke, Okada” – Enugu Keke Riders reveal working against Edeoga

Asogwa Nnedi

The Enugu tricycle operators under the aegis of the Enugu Association of Tricycle Riders (EATR) have revealed working against the Labour Party guber candidate in Enugu State, Chijioke Edeoga in the March 18 Enugu governorship election.

The President of the association, Comr. Benjamin Ikah while addressing the members yesterday, April 19, 2023, at their first general meeting held at the New Berries Park, Enugu, reminded them of the need to keep maintaining peace and unity in order to accord them the opportunity of speaking with one voice when the need arises, stressing that the resounding voice of which the association used to speak in the last guber election was such that has never been heard since the history of the association.

Comr. Ikah recalled that in the build-up to the governorship election in Enugu, a video surfaced online where the Labour Party governorship candidate, Chijioke Edeoga was during the visit of the Enugu Proprietors Association threatened to ban tricycle and Motorcycle operations in the entire state, maintaining that such was necessary because the activities of the Keke riders whom he regarded as miscreants should be banned and the usage of Keke as a means of transportation has become obsolete, assuring them that a monorail will be built in all the streets of Enugu when he takes over the leadership of the state.

The President expressed his anger on the guber candidate’s utterance, questioning the rationale for such a statement in a time like this when unemployment is at its peak and all manner of criminality gaining ascendancy in the society, maintaining that no one will be threatened deprivation of his or her legitimate means of livelihood and the person will be happy. He confessed that at the sight of the video clip from Edeoga, the organization met with the executives of Okada riders and other transport unions in Enugu and agreed that support should be shifted to the Peoples Democratic Party guber candidate, Peter Mbah.

”He called Keke riders miscreants and threatened to ban the operation. Members of the union worked assiduously in making sure that vision of the Keke ban as proposed by the Labour Party candidate, Edeoga never saw the light of day. He could only have actualized that mission if he had won and that is why we all took it upon ourselves to enlighten passengers and lobby them to vote for PDP guber candidate, Mbah since Frank Nweke never appeared to be at the top of the battle. We knew that since PDP is still the leading party in the state, lending support to its candidate will yield a positive result.

”Not only that, during the review of the results by the INEC, a situation which kept all of us in a panic mood, my secretary called me and suggested that we spread messages to the members in Enugu city to go and join the PDP protest at the INEC office. Our members trooped out en masse and at the end, there was jubilation to the extent that some of our members in Abakpa, New Heaven etc were offering free rides to passengers because they are now very sure that with the emergence of Mbah, their Keke operation will no longer be banned. We issued a congratulatorily message to the governor-elect and prayed that his administration shall be better than the current one,” Ikah stated.

Comr. Ikah in his closing remark maintained that the association prays for a better and prosperous Enugu state where all manner of transportation systems shall be seen to mitigate the suffering of passengers in the state, but the government shouldn’t make policies that will create more unemployment to the citizens without providing for alternative jobs.

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