Tricycle operators defy directives on social distancing in Anambra, Abia

Tricycle operators
Okezie (left) and Obiano

COMMERCIAL tricycle operators commercial in Abia, Anambra have refused to follow the directives of the governments limiting the number of passengers they carry per trip as part of government’s efforts to streamline social distancing and the spread of the coronavirus.

The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu and his Anambra State counterpart Willie Obiano had in their respective directives on managing the spread of the coronavirus, instructed that all commercial tricycles should carry only two passengers at the back instead of the four or five passengers per trip.

In Awka, it was business as usual for the tricycle operators scoffed at the government directives. A tricycle operator said it was “unprofitable carrying only two passengers per trip when they were not going to pay for the extra seats. The Keke runs on fuel and government should consider we are here to do business. We are not civil servants who will get their salaries no matter the problem.”

Chinedu, a Keke operator at UniZik junction, wondered what social distancing was all about as he was sandwiched between two passengers in front. “Will we say because someone will die and not go to war,” he said,  “am not scared of Coronavirus. I have to  my family, but not by carrying two passengers after fueling our tricycles. Government should think of how we will survive before telling us what to do.”

Besides the tricycles, shuttle bus drivers are insisting on carrying seven passengers, instead of the 

In Awka metropolis a minibus driver, who refused to be named said, “if Obiano wants us to cut down on the number of passengers because of coronavirus, then we will increase the fare.”

In Umuahia, many operators of Keke, partially complied with the directive to carry only two passengers as opposed to four passengers while other were seen carrying four or five passengers.

One of the operators,  Chimezie, said, although he recognized the sacrifice required of them, the directive would affect “our income and weekly and monthly returns to the owners of the Keke as we are operating on hire purchase basis. We will pray that the dealers will comply too.

“The government’s order is for the good of everyone. We know that life is precious and that it is better we make sacrifice and live than to continue chasing money and die in the process. Besides, this situation will not last forever. I wish all Keke operators will comply.”

Francis, another operator, complained that the measure came “from nowhere,  but with time, we all would comply.”

A government official, who preferred anonymity said will government to strictly enforce the measures instead of allowing Keke operators rubbish efforts check coronavirus in Abia.

📌 DON’T FORGET: YOU should wash your hands often and thoroughly, pause and think before sharing anything on social media, and practice social distancing as much as you can to flatten the curve of infection


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