Posted by News Express | 28 March 2020 | 479 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Tricycle operators popularly called Keke Napep plying within the Anambra State capital, Awka, have flouted the order of the State Government for them to carry only two persons as a way of curbing the spread of Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the world.
Governor Willie Obiano recently handed down the order evening following the increasing spate of the number of people testing positive of the virus and also reduced the number a shuttle bus which carries a capacity of seven passengers to three people.
News Express observed that the order was totally ignored as tricycle operators were seen still loading four passengers each at their loading spots along Dike Street and aroma junction.
According to a tricycle operator who simply identified himself as Osy, it was impossible for operators to carry only two passengers after fueling their tricycle.
He said: “Why would they give us that kind of order without considering the fact that fuel our keke. After buying fuel at N134 per litre, then you come and carry passengers at N50 per passenger.
“The only way it can work is if the fare will be increased, otherwise it will be difficult.”
On the issue of Coronavirus, he said: “I am not scared of the virus. Na one thing go kill a man. This is where I feed my family from, I can’t fuel my keke and be carrying only two persons.”
Also speaking, another tricycle operator popularly known among his colleagues as Udo Obodo said he cannot afford to carry only two passengers after fueling his tricycle.
Udo Obodo, obviously in his late 50s, said that he is not worried about the pandemic saying he cannot get it because he has a high immune resistance.
“I have not been sick since 1983 and it will not be now. Government should think twice before issuing such order.”
The tricycle riders are not alone on their part to destruction as their counterpart, shuttle operators insist on carrying seven passengers.
Some of the shuttle drivers who ply between Awka and Oye Agu Market, Abagana, said that if they are not allowed to increase the fare, then the government order cannot be obeyed.
A driver said: “If (Governor Willie) Obiano wants us to cut down on the number of passengers we carry because of Coronavirus, then the fare will increase or we go on strike.”
Though there is no case of Coronavirus yet in Anambra State, most residents are already beginning to apply caution to avoid being victims.
As at the time of filing this report, few people were seen wearing face masks even as banks started subjecting customers to temperature checks.
For instance, at one of the branches of Access Bank, security men were seen taking customers’ temperatures and sanitizing their hands
Also, at an ATM point, few people were observed to be using improvise like paper and tissue to press the machine knobs as a way of avoiding direct contact.
While many people are still oblivious of the propensity of the plague, some have started practicing social distancing even as most families have withdrawn their wards from school.
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