With the ban on the activities of commercial motorcyclists, known as Okada Operators, by the Government of Anambra State, many people in the state thought that sanity would return to the roads. During the time of the Okada people, the roads were turned into one big chaos, given the disorderliness of the commercial motorcycle operators and their penchant to ignore traffic rules. This attitude had led to traffic obstructions in areas they used as their parks and avoidable accidents involving them. But the euphoria experienced by their ban is slowly being replaced by frustration, this time caused by Keke drivers.
It just appears as if the Okada operators who switched over the tricycles or Keke, have taken their unruly attitude along with them. A visit to areas where the Keke drivers park reveals the same chaos and traffic congestion, especially at major junctions.
In Awka, areas like Unizik Temporary Site Junction (both sides), Aroma Junction (both sides) and Eke Awka Market Roundabout, are some of the worst areas in Awka.
In Onitsha, some of the worst hit area include Ukaegbu Junction by Eze Iweka in Awada; MCC Junction by Oraifite Street, also in Awada, as well as areas around the Onitsha Main Market.
One of the worst areas also include the Owerri Road by Eze Iweka. Here, both Keke and shuttle buses cause nightmares to other road users.
In the areas mentioned, traffic is often obstructed by the failure of the Keke drivers to keep to their designated spots. Depending on the time of day, negotiating one’s way in those places is also nightmarish. Accidents are often caused when vehicles waiting for the road to clear before entering the junctions are hit by speeding articulated vehicles, especially in sloppy areas like the Unizik Junction, Awka, and Upper Iweka in Onitsha.
We believe that this should not be the case. Those Keke drivers and even shuttle bus drivers, should be made to obey traffic rules and regulations in their areas of operation. They should also confine themselves to designated parks rather than just parking anywhere they see space.
At the Unizik Junction area, the situation is worse in the late evenings after officials of the Anambra State Transport Agency, as well as the traffic police, have gone. It is the same at the Tarzan Section of Nkpor and other places.
We are therefore calling the attention of concerned authorities to these anomalies and demand that stringent measures be applied against defaulting Keke and shuttle bus operators.
The officials of ASTA and the police should extend their working hours a bit longer in order to instil discipline in those areas and consequently save lives. The madness seen in those areas must be stopped.