Friday, 28 October 2016

Keke Napep : The Awkward Hybrid of Okada

On the 1st of November, 2012, the city of Warri and Asaba woke up to an expected restriction on commercial motorcycle as a means of transportation. The city has hoped that the ban will be extended or not seen through, but Governor Uduaghan, ensured that restriction took effect. The state government alternative to Okada was tricycle aka Keke Napep.
As a child growing up, American action and Indian movies were highlights of the weekend. I first saw tricycles in Indian and Japanese movies, often driven around underdeveloped and impoverished regions. You can imagined my vexation at the introduction of Keke in place of Okada. Angrily, I told a friend that this is not a step in the right direction. It would have been great if Okada was straightaway replaced with taxi or cabs. The introduction of Keke in place of Okada is a step away from development. Imagine if it was blue and white cab that took the place of Okada, by now the city would have a more peaceful and serene atmosphere.

Secondly, Keke has been hijacked by hoodlums to perpetrate evil in the city. My first and only robbery experience, was through Keke, two young men alighted from a Keke and took my phones and other valuables and walked gallantly into their getaway keke and zoomed off. Aside cases of robbery, Keke has also been used to rape young women and commit atrocious acts.

It has become a form of nuisance to the city, taking the place of Taxi in the city, (more dignified form of transportation). Keke, an awkward hybrid of Okada in every respect. They ride without patience causing unnecessary hold up. Sometimes when it rains and pour and you are unlucky to get a covered one, you get drenched when it rains. I hold no grudge against these riders whenever I get wet, why? I came to realize that the parts of Keke is expensive. An original Keke tyre cost N10,000 and Aba is N6,000, the glass screen is way expensive, than the windscreen of a motorcar. Keke has made businessmen become greedy for gains. A single Keke once cost less than N300,000, but today it’s is over N400,000.

Keke Napep, does have its own advantages and most times, these advantage in themselves has their own challenges. For example, it is not strange to see a keke weaving through traffic, to save time, but more often you see keke being the cause of an unnecessary hold on our roads.
Another advantage of Keke Napep is the luxury to alight anywhere and enter anywhere, they have no bus stop, although they can be found at strategic sections in the city, but this in itself is part of the reason it’s being used to rob and commit atrocities. Imagine if you enter a Tricycle at a park and you get robbed, you can easily go to the park and make your complain, and hopefully recover your items if the keke works in the park, off course, no keke without park identification can work at the park.

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