In a compelling firsthand account, a returnee from Paris to Umuahia, Abia state, has shed light on the stark differences in the lives of Keke Napep drivers in two neighboring Nigerian cities – Umuahia and Onitsha.
One Uche Okoye, simply identified as Anambra 1st shared this on his X page (formerly Twitter), painting a vivid picture of the contrasting realities faced by these drivers in Umuahia and Onitsha.
Positive Vibes and Improved Conditions in Umuahia
According to Anambra 1st son, his friend had much to say about his encounter with Umuahia’s Keke Napep drivers.
A newfound sense of positivity and satisfaction radiates from these drivers, attributed to a transformative payment arrangement.
Keke drivers in Umuahia now enjoy a one-time weekly fee, liberating them from the extortion and harassment they endured from Agberos in the past.
This change has brought forth a wave of happiness among the drivers. For instance, one educated driver expressed his gratitude for this policy shift, emphasizing how it has enabled him to save more of his earnings.
This financial respite allows him to cover essential expenses such as school fees and house rent, ultimately enhancing his overall quality of life.
Challenges Persist in Onitsha
While Umuahia paints a rosy picture of Keke Napep operations, the scene drastically shifts upon entering Anambra state, particularly in the bustling city of Onitsha.
Keke drivers here find themselves entangled in an endless cycle of extortion and harassment, despite initial promises of a hassle-free environment following payment of the one-week fee to the Soludo-led government.
Anambra 1st son revealed that he personally witnessed distressing incidents, including a Keke driver being compelled to pay an exorbitant fee of 1000 naira to an Agbero, only resolved at 200 naira after his intervention.
He disclosed that the Upper Iweka area is plagued by individuals in green vests who harass drivers for fees, painting a grim picture for newcomers to the Eastern region.
A Call for Change
The stark contrast between Umuahia and Onitsha raises pressing questions about governance efficiency and the urgent need for intervention.
Anambra 1st son passionately appeals to the Anambra state government, urging immediate action to remove the road-side harassers and reform the system.
The writer’s message is clear: Anambra state Governor Charles Soludo, who promised to build a fairer, more prosperous, and livable Anambra, must address the challenges faced by drivers in the city.
A friend of mine who recently returned from Paris to Umuahia, Abia state, shared a fascinating story about his experience driving around Umuahia using Keke Napep.
He said aside from the positive energy from the people to the new government, What struck him the most was the…
— Anambra 1st son (@UchePOkoye) October 2, 2023
This call for reform highlights the necessity of ending outdated and unjust practices that hinder the city’s progress and tarnish its image.