By Queen Anigbogu
No less than 24 tricycle (Keke) riders have been arrested by the Operation Clean And Healthy Anambra State, OCHA Brigade.
The Agency’s Head of Operations, Officer Chukwuemeka Oye, who disclosed this while speaking with the press in Awka, said they were arrested for alleged non-compliance with the government’s directive on tax payment as well as engaging in activities that disrupt public peace.
Mr Oye revealed that nine people were initially arrested at Eke Nibo on Wednesday, November 16 and remanded in the correctional facility, and the remaining fifteen were arrested when they went to the correctional facility at Amawbia, forcefully demanding the release of their members in custody by blocking access roads.
He further explained that the group, in the company of about two other hundred Keke drivers, tried to attack OCHA Brigade officials but with the assistance of sister security agencies, the attack was repelled.
He noted that it was in the course of repelling the attack that they arrested an additional fifteen of the Keke riders, who, alongside nine others, will be arraigned in court on Monday, November 21, for prosecution.
In an interview, one of the arrested Keke riders, , Mr Uzochukwu Oguchi from Oba, Idemili South council area, said they came to find out what their colleagues did to be remanded in prison, and they were referred to the official headquarters of OCHA Brigade, where they were arrested and kept in custody since yesterday.
He appealed to the government to come to their aid even as he urged other Keke riders who are yet to comply with the government’s directive on tax payment to do so.
It could be recalled that the Anambra state government has had a series of meetings with Keke riders in the state where they agreed to comply with the directive on tax payment.