By Chioma Ndife
A member of staff of Fides Newspaper, Miss Judith Ukachukwu, narrowly escaped serious injury last Wednesday at Jerome Udoji Secretariat Road, Awka after the tricycle she boarded was overturned by revenue touts.
I used to hear of how, loosely organized gangs of street children and teenagers called area boys and popularly known as Agbero (in Yoruba dialect) violently extort money from commercial motorist but today it was confirmed, as I am not just an eye witness but also a victim, she said.
According to her, she was on her way to work as usual when she boarded a tricycle locally called Keke Napep at Aroma Junction, going to Retreat Centre, Nodu, in the early hours of the day.
‘Just few minutes on transit along Secretariat Road, a man from nowhere stormed the moving tricycle that I was in, dragging it backward with a great momentum and trying to stop the vehicle, but this unfortunately led to its tumbling sideways.The driver and the two passengers, who included me, tumbled alongside with the vehicle.
After the accident occurred, the other two victims and I silently thanking God, managed to pull out of the vehicle with the help of passers-by. Shop owners, including passers-by, surrounded the scene and consoled us, just as they reprimanded the tout for losing self-control and therefore endangering people lives.
The tout claimed to have caused the said accident as a result of the driver’s refusal to pay the unapproved dues whenever motorists conveyed passengers in the area they inhabited as street boys.