Untold Story of “Keke NAPEP” Before Lagos Ban
ElevateNews takes a look at the untold stories of operators of commercial tricycles in Lagos.
It was about noon, I jumped out of the office on Ahmadu Bello Way Victoria Island, Lagos for an appointment at Falomo.
Even with vehicular traffic, I was sure that a commercial tricycle would always maneuver to get me to Onikan and another one to Falomo within 20 minutes.
Expectedly, I did not wait for five minutes at the Silverbird Bus Stop when a Keke NAPEP pulled over beside me.
There were two passengers already seated. Quickly I settled down as the tricycle zoomed off.
I alighted at Onikan before I realized that my new android cellphone had been stolen by the two guys I met inside the tricycle.
I later learned that the two thieves actually worked with the tricycle driver and that there were thousands of them on the Island.
That day, I missed my appointment because I could not locate the team that invited me for a business chat.
It was a nightmare because I had to make an affidavit at the nearest court so that I could block all my mobile numbers before the criminals would break into my bank account.
Narrating the ordeal to some friends, the whole scene looked so normal to them while I felt so ashamed of myself for falling so cheap for these gentlemen of the road.
They told me that Islanders do not keep their cellphones handsets in their pockets while traveling in Keke NAPEP.
Of course, the handset was not so cheap, it served as my office. It took me several weeks to get back to my normal life.
Millions of Lagos residents have one story to tell about the crimes by tricycle operators.
Almost all the operators of Keke NAPEP on Victoria Island are Northerners. They drive recklessly and do not have homes.
They sleep anywhere, inside their tricycles as soon as the sun sets at every corner on the Island.
They are always battle-ready. Under the carpet of their tricycles are knives and other weapons, which they can easily bring out to attack their victims and also defend themselves against any forces.
If you think the Lagos government is wicked to have banned Okada and tricycle, you might need to listen to people’s stories.
It is tough for many commuters to move around in Lagos now but with about 650 mass transit buses that would be introduced to the roads, a lot of security and transport challenges would be solved.
You may say that the idled former tricycle operators might take to crime, the Lagos State Police Command has answer for them.