Keke riders under the aegis of Abia state almagameted tricycle operators Association, Umuahia zone on Monday carried out a peaceful protest to the Abia state House of Assembly complex over what they call injustice against them.
The leader of the association, Mr. Okechukwu Ijebuonwu while addressing members of Abia State House of Assembly led by the speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji, said “what we came for is to plead with you and relate to you what we the Keke operators suffer on the road. Maybe you haven’t heard about it but I want you to know about it today.
“The state government mandated us to pay 150 naira as tax but as I am talking to you now, there are some tricycle operators who pays 500, 400 or 350 naira.
“When heading towards Umudike, there is a man there, his job is whether you have passengers or not, you will pay him 200 naira. Who kept him there? It is the deputy T.C chairman Umuahia north”. Mr. Okechukwu said.
He continued, “There are some,said to be taskforce. If a Keke rider drops a passengers,they will charge him with an offence and take him to their office to pay 4,000 to 5,000 naira fine.” Okechukwu added.
He stated that the group is not out for violence but a peaceful protest to vent out their anger.
“We did not come hear with any weapon to express our grieviancies but we came to lay complain” Mr. Okechukwu affirmed.
In his response, the speaker, Rt. Hon.Chinedum Orji expressed regret that instructions of the state government are not being carried out by some individuals.
Rt. Hon. Chinedum enquired from the T.C chairman Umuahia north local government area who was present during the protest to know if the allegations are true.
He however denied any knowledge of extortion against the tricycle operators.
The speaker directed that all parties involved in the extortion allegation be brought to his office by the TC chairman.
Hon. Chinedum however discouraged the act of double taxation.
“No one should mess up my constituency for me.We will see to the end of it” Hon. Chinedum affirmed.
Hon. Chinedum however advised the tricycle operators to pay their taxes in bank, in the governments account not in cash to any local government officials as the law forbids such.
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