Protesting Tricycle Operators: Leaders Distance Themselves

…Government Means No Harm, Says KAROTA Boss

From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano

The leadership of Kano State Tricycle Association Forum (KASTAF) has disassociated itself from the near-violent protested embarked upon by some Tricycle operators who stormed the streets on Monday, demonstrating against N100 daily levy on Tricycle operators by the authorities of Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA). 

The chairman of KASTAF, Malam Mansur Tanimu who spoke along side his executive members, during a joint-press conference with the Managing Director of KAROTA, Hon. Baffa  Babba Danagundi, at the Club Road KAROTA headquarters on Monday, said his executive was neither aware of the strike nor the violent demonstration by group of youths who said they were KAROTA operators. 

According to him, KASTAF leadership has long settled with KAROTA authorities over the N100 daily levy and the mode of payment. 

He expressed surprise that, “some people violently stormed the streets over this issue.

They are not our members. We are not violent people. If we have any grievances, we always settle it on a roundtable with the authorities concerned.” 

In his brief remarks, Danagundi expressed shock that some people decided to hide under the guise of Tricycle operators to for mental trouble in the state, insisting that the state government never meant any harm in its policies on the operation of Tricycle operators. 
According to him, “I sincerely thank the leadership of Tricycle operators for coming here to say the truth. I thank them for being honest, and to tell the public what really transpired– that you are not aware of the demonstration.” 

He further stated that, “I know government will surely take action on this. But I cannot pre-empt the decision of the government; but I know if government will allow Tricycle operation in Kano, there will surely be some modifications.”

However, Kano state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sama’ila Shuaibu Dikko on Monday confirmed that police and sister security agencies arrested a reasonable number of hoodlums who caused nuisance on Kano streets in the guise of protesting alleged hike of daily tax of Tricycle operators by the authorities of KAROTA.

The AUTHORITY reports that Tricycle operators stayed at home on Monday in protest over N100 daily tax, while some youths took to the streets purportedly protesting governments decision to tax Tricycle operators. 

While most residents were seen trekking long distances as a result of the one-day warning strike by Tricycle operators, jobless youths in some parts of the city mobilized themselves blocking roads and causing hectic moments for both commuters, motorists and pedestrians. 

During his maiden press briefing on Monday, the new Commissioner of Police, who arrived Kano on Friday, said security reports indicated that hoodlums took advantage of the situation to forment trouble. 

He also confirmed to journalists that several arrests have been made, ‘I can not ascertain the number of people arrested so far, but I can tell you that we have made arrests and within few hours, we will surely bring the situation under control. “

He said police is working with sister security agencies to bring the situation under control. 
As at the time of filling this report, our Correspondent who moved round the city observed that security agencies have brought the situation under control.

Meanwhile, owners of private motorcycles engaged in brisk business as the floaded the streets of Kano with their motorcycles making quick money as they charge commuters as high as N300 to N400 per drop of short distances. 
Residents who could not afford the exorbitant charges trekked long distances to get to their places of work, while some well-to-do residents used taxis to get to their different destinations. 

It was also observed that many children could not go to school because of the striking Tricycle operators, as it has become the only popular means of intercity transportation for low income earners. 

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