Keke operators attack Abia Traffic agency office

By Ugochukwu Alaribe

There was confusion at the headquarters of the Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State, TIMASS, in Aba, Thursday, as over 200 Keke operators stormed the agency protesting what they described as extortion, high handedness and arbitrary confiscation of their tricycles by TIMAAS officials.

The Keke operators lamented that they have been made to suffer untold hardship at the hands of TIMAAS officials who seize their tricycles on flimsy excuses.

The operators stated that they are charged N40, 000 before their vehicles can be released to them and urged Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to investigate the activities of TIMAAS.

Eyewitnesses told Vanguard that officials of the agency fled their offices and jumped the fence on sighting the irate Keke operators.

Some of the Keke operators broke into the yard and destroyed the lock while others stormed the office area asking for the General Manager of the agency, Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikokwu. A group of Keke operators opened the yard asking for owners of seized vehicles to come and take them.

One of the protesters, who gave his name as Chima, said every keke operator in Aba lives with the fear of TIMAAS as your tricycle can be confiscated, even when you have not committed any offence.

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He said; “TIMAAS has become a big problem to keke riders in Aba. We are battling with TIMAAS and touts. We can no longer break even because we use most of our daily earnings to settle TIMAAS, touts and policemen. It is not a matter of committing a traffic offence or not. Keke riders now live with the fear of TIMAAS. You can park at the bus stop and they will ask you for your key and one of them will take your keke to their office and deflate the tyres. It is either you pay N40, 000 or your keke will rot away in their yard. But today, we are saying enough is enough. No more TIMAAS.”

It could not be confirmed whether the General Manager of TIMAAS, Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikokwu was at the headquarters as at the time of the incident.

When Vanguard visited the TIMAAS headquarters along Obikabia road, over 20 soldiers were seen on guard. Some soldiers were observed beating a passenger over an undisclosed offence.

Efforts to get the reaction of the General Manager, TIMAAS, Mr. Bright Chinedu Ikokwu, were not successful as his mobile number indicated that it was switched off.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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