Tricycle operators arrest eight over criminal activities

*Denies that members are criminals
*Set-up Seven-man anti-crime committee

The leadership of Tricycles Owners Association of NIgeria (TOAN), Anambra State chapter, has arrested eight notorious suspects who were unleashing terror on people at Onitsha-Owerri Road in Onitsha.
The arrest came at the heels of the condemnation of a voice message now trending in the social media, alleging that all Keke operators in Anambra State especially in Awka, the state capital are criminals.

According to the TOAN Media Officer, Dede Uzor A Uzor, the suspects have been handed over to the police and they are being interrogated by the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) unit of the State Police Command, Awka

Due to the serious insecurity in the public space occasioned by the criminal activities of Fulani Herdsmen and Unknown Gunmen, some security operatives changed their tactics and withdrew their men from the road, leaving the citizens at the mercy of the criminals.
But addressing some Keke riders in Awka yesterday, Dede Uzor, Media officer of the Union flanked by the Chairman of TOAN in the state, Comrade Sylvester Chibueze Obiorah, warned that time has come when they would deal with anybody using Keke to commit crime in the state.

He said the absence of Police in our public space has emboldened criminals, some of them now use Keke to unleash crime on innocent citizens, including some Keke passengers.

TOAN said their members were also victims of these criminals who did not only attack and maim them but stole their money and tricycles.
“Most times, our members fall victim of these criminals.Their Keke were snatched under gun point,” he said.

They expressed displeasure in the labelling all Keke riders as criminals, saying that this amounted to sweeping generalisation which lacks empricical evidence.
“There is no way all Keke riders in Anambra State or Awka in particular can all be criminals. There is no facts to buttress this allegation. It is callous and wicked to make such wild, fabricated and unfounded allegations,” said Dede Uzor.
He that said Keke operators like any other group do have bad eggs but there has always been an inbuilt mechanism which they used to fish out the bad eggs and punish them accordingly.
The truth, the group said, was that some non-Keke riders normally unleash atrocities against our members by hijacking their tricycles, attacking and maiming them.

“Who in his right thinking can call the whole union numbering over 2000 members, some of them graduates of NIgerian universities, who ventured into Keke as a temporary measure because there is no job anywhere in the county as criminals,” he asked.

Consequently, the chairman of TOAN, Anambra State, Comrade Obiorah has constituted a sevem-man investigative security committee to unravel those behind this despicable act.

They were asked to work with police to unmask those who are giving and painting the union in bad light.

“We praise and thank the outgoing governor, Mazi Willie Obiano, for his inclusive and populist programmes that have put the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in strong footing.
We also commend the Governor-elect and urge him to uphold the aspirations of APGA and its mandate in the state.

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