By UbongAbasi Ise
Should the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel win re-election next year, he is likely to stop tricycles, popularly known as Keke Napep, from plying major roads in Uyo metropolis, a competent source revealed to our correspondent yesterday. This plan ahead, raise fears among commuters in the State.
As a way of reducing gridlocks that characterize major roads in the capital city, a high-ranking official in the state Ministry of Transport and Petroleum Resources who did not want his name in prints, said Akwa Ibom State Government may force commercial tricycles out of major roads in Uyo to give way for taxis, buses, and minibuses.
The major roads, according to him, would include Abak Road (Olusegun Obasanjo Way), Aka Road, Ikot Ekpene Road, Nwaniba Road, Oron Road and Wellington Bassey Way.
The source added that keke Napep may only be allowed to operate only in the streets and outskirts of Uyo according to how they are arranged into associations.
While lauding Governor Udom Emmanuel for fixing internal roads in Uyo to ease traffic jam, he added that the challenge of road congestion is still there, especially, as the city is witnessing high influx of migrants on daily basis.
He believed if the plan to ban Keke Napep eventually gets headway as rumoured within his ministry’s circle, it would cause “panic amongst the tricycle operators” as well as Uyo passengers at the initial stage, but they would gradually adapt to the situation.
The source reminded that similar decision had been taken in the major cities of the neighbouring states such as Port Harcourt and Calabar, and so Uyo would not be an exception.
If this is anything to go by, it will not be the first time the state government would make similar decision as regards the commercial means of transport in the Akwa Ibom State capital.
As would be recalled, Akwa Ibom State government had banned the use of commercial motorcycles in Uyo metropolis in July 2011, and later stopped Keke Napep from plying Welligton Bassey Way, where the Government House is situated.