Earlier today, angry tricycle operators stormed Umuahia protesting the N1000 charge on waste bucket made mandatory to all operators.
They destroyed the Abia state environmental protection agency (ASEPA) buckets with a sticker they were forcefully asked to purchase.
Complaining, one of the Keke operators disclosed that it was extortion for the Abia State Government to force them to buy 3-litre buckets with stickers at exorbitant prices.
He also disclosed that they can easily put refuse at the back of their vehicle and dispose at government-designated refuse dumps.
When Newsleverage contacted the ASEPA Chairman of Umuahia Business District, Eze Okwulehie, he said that the bucket was a revenue window for the agency.
“The ASEPA waste bucket is a revenue window for the agency which I gave to someone to handle. Let’s assume they are complaining that the bucket was expensive, were they supposed to break it? The people that did that are not keke drivers.
Those people were hired to destabilize the policy of the State Government. If you go to Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, they have their waste bucket inside the tricycle to avoid littering of the road. It’s unlawful to break the bucket.
Has any of them come to the office to complain about the price? I know the people doing that and it’s the secretary to Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) A.D Anyanwu and another who claims to be the head of Allied Tricycle Riders Integrated Welfare Association (ATRIWA) Chisom Offor.
I met them at Carpet junction and asked them what their problem was. I looked at them and knew they were not Keke operators. Do they want to tell me that government cannot come up with a policy and tell the Keke operators to use a bucket for their wastes even as buses are doing that? Do you see bus drivers reacting? You can imagine the level of their thinking. Can you see how Umuahia is neat today? That’s my most concern and no other thing.”