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Embargo on tricycle side-curtain stirs anger in Bayelsa

*Commuters, tricycle operators kick against govt decision
*Union leader disagrees with protesters

By Emem Idio

YENAGOA—THE ban on the use of side curtains in tricycles, popularly called Keke NAPEP, at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, by the State Government, has sparked a row between the residents and commuters on one side and government on the other.

Side curtains, a detachable makeshift flexible door, shields passengers and provides cover from sun, rain and air. Some members of the public opposed to the ban, told NDV that the removal has exposed passengers to rain, scorching sun and other atmospheric conditions.

But, the government maintained that the decision was in the general interest of the public, stating that the measure was largely for security reasons as it has been uncovered that crimes were being perpetrated under the cover of the curtains.

Poor masses bear the brunt- Trader

A trader, Mrs. Success David, said: “The government is suffering the poor masses with their anti-people policies. The curtains usually protect us (passengers) from rain and sun. Although it was not all that conducive, but we were managing it, but now the situation has gone from bad to worse, whenever its rains, passengers are soaked because there are no curtains anymore.

“The situation is not helping matters because we can no longer board Keke whenever it rains because it will just seem as if you are on a motorcycle.   We, market women, are appealing to the authorities to reconsider this policy for the sake of the suffering masses. If they say they are robbing people inside Keke, how about the taxis?”

Security agencies should do their work

A tricycle operator, Mr. Thank-God Ekom, lamented that the directive has operations as most passengers have now refused to commute when it rains unlike before, saying:   “The ban on the use of curtains is affecting our business now because most people do not enter our Keke whenever it rains because of the exposure.”



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