By Teryima Andrew
Following continuous violence protest and destruction of property by protesting tricycle operators in Jos, the Plateau state government has ban operation of tricycle within Jos and Bukuru metropolis still further notice.
A statement signed by the permanent secretary cabinet and special duties Shiolbial Cornelius Monday afternoon said the ban covers Jos, and Bukuru metropolis, however on temporary bases.
The statement which already takes effect immediately, directs security operatives to arrest any tricycle operator caught plying the road, after the announcement.
According to the statements, government action over the tricycle operators was to curtail further destruction of property.
Eyewitness said some of the tricycle protesters had molested several residents of Jos since Monday morning.
Meanwhike, operators of Tricycle riders in Jos, the Plateau state capital, on Monday held the entire Jos metropolis hostage, created heavy traffic around the city centre over alleged indiscriminate levies.
Leader of the protesting tricycle operators Peter Ogah in an interview said they were protesting indiscriminate levies imposed on them by government agencies.
“We are on the streets today (Monday) to register our displeasure over multiple levies on us, (tricycle operators) we were recently forced to pay the sum of 5,800 which we do not know what the money is meant for..
He stressed that “the 5,800 naira is not part of the registration process and the annual renewal of operational permit.” Mr. Ogah noted.
Reacting to the development, acting commissioner for works and transport Gabriel Mafulu who is the permanent Secretary of the ministry said due to the protest over the said levy, goernmet has suspended collection of the 5,800 levy.
Ministry of works is the supervising ministry of transport in Plateau state.
Mr. Mafulu explained that “government has suspended the initial 5,800 naira charges on tricycle operators, wth effect from today (Moday) this is to avert any violence that might result from the protest.”
He gave reason for the 5,800 naira levy “the sum is meant for retraining of operators for safty, and licensing of riders.”
Mafulu explained further that “the training has become necessary due to excess of some of the operators of tricycle, the training and licensing will also enable government have a data base for both owners and riders of tricycle in Plateau state.” Mr. Mafulu stated.
It is on notice that government had two years ago ban riding of tricycle at night between the hours of 9:00pm till 6:00am, and in major routes within Jos during working hours.
The protesters had besieged state house assembly complex, but no one was at hand to attend to them, some where at the gate of the state Secretariat, others staged at government house, and governor’s residence.
Meanwhile, the protest had lead to destruction of property, a group of the protesters along Bauchi ring road molested a Vehicle Inspection Officer VIO, and vandalized his private car.
The rampaging tricycle operators molested every Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) insight, they also caused heavy traffic along major routes, chancing war songs, called for the disbandments of VIO operation in the state; on alleged harassment.
Members of the tricycle operators suspended commercial transport for hours, thereby create hardship; as taxi drivers took advantage of the development, used the avenue and skyrocketed taxi fare in the Jos metropolis by 100 percent.