Tricycle riders, popularly called Keke NAPEP, and officials of the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) yesterday clashed around airport junction in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja after men of the VIO were alleged to have descended on the tricycle operators and destroying some of the tricycles.
The clash saw many school pupils, who usually ride the tricycles home after classes, trekking long distances home as the riders took to the streets in protest chanting solidarity songs, carrying trees branches and burning tires in the middle of the roads at various points.
One of the tricycle riders who spoke with The Guardian, said their grievance with the VIO was that they always maltreating their members and damage their source of income through incessant clampdown, which usually cost them a lot of money to buy or repair.
When asked his name, he said: “My name is nobody but I am just telling you that they are really disturbing us and this morning, they damaged into pieces our Keke and even shot one of us on the leg. That is why we are angry.”
Meanwhile one of the police officers that were drafted to the scene to calm the rampaging riders and restore sanity, said they understand that the operators have issues with the VIO but they are trying to mediate with both parties in order to maintain peace.
The officer, who simply identified himself as Solomon, said peace would be restored in the area very soon.