Sunday, July 3, 2022

Tricycle strike: Okada returns to Kano

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Commuters in Kano State have resorted to using motorcycles and mini vans as alternative means of transportation, following the commencement of a warning strike by the commercial tricycle operators in the state.

Tricycle is the dominant means of transportation in the capital.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the tricycle operators had on Monday embarked on a 7-day warning strike to protest the annual payment of N8,500 as registration number renewal fees, and payment of N100 daily levy imposed by Kano Road Traffic Agency, KAROTA.

The strike action had paralysed business and academic activities in the city, just as it coincided with the resumption of a new academic session in Kano schools.

This newspaper also gathered that both the Managing Director of KAROTA, Baffa Dan’agundi and the tricycle operators have drawn a battle line, as both parties are showing no-retreat-no-surrender posture.

However, as the strike action entered into the second day, people in the Kano city had resorted to using the Okada or Achaba in local parlance and Yar-Kurkura [mini van] as means of transportation within the metropolis and even beyond.

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The Kano State Government had in 2013 banned commercial tricycles from operating in the state due to insecurity.

In 2020, the state government, through KAROTA, had also banned motorcyclists from carrying passengers, especially in the metropolis due to insecurity.

But checks by this newspaper on Tuesday and Wednesday had indicated that Achaba had returned in full force as people were seen moving around the city on these means of transportation as a result of the absence of the tricycles on the roads.

A resident, Musbahu Jamilu, told our correspondent that he boarded a mini van from Sharada Kwanar Kasuwa to Isyaku Rabiu bus stop along Ibrahim Taiwo road at N100 fare.

“I first stopped at Aliko filling station but could not get a commercial vehicle. When I trekked a bit towards Kwanar Kasuwa, I met Y’ar-kurkura with people on it and I didn’t hesitate to join them.

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“When we were set, a guy stood up and started collecting the fare. That is how I came to Fagge, my place of work,” Mr Jamilu narrated.

Our reporter also observed that students also boarded the Yar-kurkura vans to schools within the metropolis.

Our checks had revealed that many private motorcycle riders had converted them to commercial use in order to earn money and at the same time ease the suffering of the commuters.

Usman Abba, a tailor who owns a motorcycle, said he had converted it to commercial use since the beginning of the strike.

“Not only me, but we are also many. I can say that due to the ban on Achaba, you know people are no longer using motorcycles for commercial purposes in Kano. But, this time around, many of us have converted our motorbikes to commercial use.

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“If I am moving, the moment I see a person standing by the roadside, I would stop and convey him to his destination for a fee,” said Mr Abba.

Also, another resident, Nafiu Garangamawa, said his car was with a mechanic and had no other means of transportation than to trek to his place of work.

“I just decided to trek because the place is not too far from the garage where I took my car. So, before I reached our office, over five motorcyclists had requested to give me a ride to pay them, ” said Mr Garangamawa.

He appealed to the state government and leaders of tricycle operators to sit at a table and resolve the impasse for the good of the people of the state.

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