Keke NAPEP Operators Receive Upgrade in Owerri, as Governor calls detractors Pharisees
Effective from Tuesday, 5th September, 2017, tricycle operators also known as keke NAPEP will be banned from plying the major roads in Owerri. This announcement was made by the Governor of Imo State Owelle Anayo ‘Rochas’ Okorocha as he gave out 2000 Volkswagen Passat Station Wagon vehicles to some tricycle operators through a ballot system held at the Hero’s Square in Owerri. The cars were given out on the 30th of August, 2017 as part of efforts by the governor to ensure compliance to the directive. The second batch of the beneficiaries will receive their cars in October while the third batch will receive theirs in December. The major roads where the tricycle operators are to stop plying are Wetheral, Douglas and Orlu roads.
In his speech, Governor Okorocha said the tricycle operators gave him much support during his campaign and he was there to upgrade them from “from three legged to four legged and that day would mark the beginning of the movement from tricycle to full car” The governor also said that his government had given out the 2000 cars in order to make life more prosperous for the transporters. He said he would not be happy if he did not fulfil his promise during his tenure as governor of Imo State. Governor Okorocha also added that that for clarity sake, the car award was government’s way of empowering masses, reducing pain and bringing comfort to families. He described Owerri as a state that was going through the phases of development and the use of ‘KEKE NAPEP’ as a mode of mass transit would not suit the image of Owerri.
Governor Okorocha also talked about what he termed ‘attacks’ ranging from the incident at Ekeukwu Owerri few days earlier, attack on his free education project by the elites, to the urban renewal few years ago. He explained that he was on a mission to rescue Imo State and had nothing to benefit, directly or indirectly from the various projects and that Imo people would come to appreciate his efforts 10 years after. Still on the car award, he reiterated that the cars had been given out free of charge, without filling any form and that all these had been done for the sake of God to make poor people smile. The governor lamented the efforts of those he called scavengers who had been ravaging Imo State over the years and how he had tried to make life better for the people.
On the incident at Ekeukwu Market, Governor Okorocha explained that he had only wanted to clean up the city to bring in light, but people he described as ‘Saducees and Pharisees cashed in and changed the narrative.’ Concerning the child that was shot during the incident, Governor Okorocha said that ‘no police officer or government official shot any gun’ and ‘that nobody had shown him where the blood of the child was’ (probably referring to the lack of physical evidence). He also stressed that the incident happened along Mbaise Road not Douglas Road.