Why Okorocha banned keke on Owerri routes

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    Greed, selfishness, sadism, drive Imo governments policies

Governor Rochas Okorocha’s hidden secret and reasons for most of his prevailing draconian and anti people policies have been exposed with the introduction of the “Imo black cabs” as means of intercity transportation within Owerri municipality. The cabs were showcased few days after trigger hungry police men chased keke operators out of Owerri routes.

Two prospective cab drivers who thronged the Aladinma mall office of the management operators of Imo black cabs were totally disappointed when on reaching the premises and presenting their requests to partake in the business. They were told that the condition for operating the cab is a daily payment of the sum of six thousand naira each in addition to a security report and letter from a guarantor and traditional ruler of the community where the commercial driver comes from. The applicants of course, must possess valid drivers licenses, among others.

At the mention of six thousand naira daily advance payment for each of the black-cabs, the youths who are of Ideato North LGA extraction felt disenchanted and disillusioned. Narrating their ordeal to Community Watchdog Newspapers, the youths who pleaded for anonymity, accused Rochas Okorocha of engendering the high cost of transportation in Owerri municipal. They also explained that the only reason for banning keke is for Okorocha to introduce his private transport scheme in the name of Imo black cab. They stated that at N6,000 per day, an operator of Imo black-cab will not collect anything less than N100 per drop, no matter the distance in order to meet up with the conditions of hiring or operating the cab. They therefore wondered why the governor would subject Imo commuters to further hardship soon after demolishing Orji and Nekede Mechanic villages and Ekeukwu Owerri market. It was this shylock attribute of Governor Rochas Okorocha that informed the reasoning that those who banned keke on Owerri roads are heartless, inhuman and insensitive.

It was as a result of their ugly experience in the hands of those who operatethe Imo black-cabs that they concluded that Okorocha demolished Ekeukwu Owerri market, just to force traders to rent his private shopping plaza at relief market. The youths regretted that whereas Okorocha subjected Imo traders and artisans to hardship and agony by asking them to buy and develop their own shops at the new Egbeada market, Governor T. A. Orji of Abia State completed two international markets, with dualized roads and drainage systems before asking prospective traders to move in. Likewise, the idea behind the rehabilitation of World Bank mini market was to allow Okorocha to acquire the old Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for their privately owned market. Rather than developing a market around Arugo Motor Park which could accommodate displaced traders at Amakohia, Akwakuma and Egbeada satellite villages, the governor through his Mr. fix it, Ichie Uche Best Mbanaso, appropriated a small road verge and open space located opposite Ideal Suites and Hotels, World Bank Housing Estate and turned it into a market place without minding the fact that they had by so doing, deliberately and willfully encroached on the road. Yet the governor and his special adviser on city and market development, Mbanaso were busy warning residents and inhabitants against distorting and defacing the Owerri master plan. They referred to the duo as sacred cows who whip people into line only to stay outside the ring to do whatever they like, without recourse to equity, justice and fairness.

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