By Ushang Ewa
The owners and operators of the banned commercial tricycles in the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) Calabar, Wednesday, defied the ban placed on their operations in the campus and fingered the State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji as the sole reason why the decision was taken.
The Institution’s security team, twice, had a face-off with the tricycle operators same day following the operators insistence that they should be issued a proper notice which was later issued at a few minutes past 9:00 A.M. Wednesday morning.
Earlier, at about 7:00 A.M. the security team attempted stopping a few who had begun work but after a heated debate, allowed them go on. It was a case of De javu at about 4:00 P.M with sources informing CrossRiverWatch that it took the intervention of some passengers for calm to prevail.
Meanwhile, the varsity’s management in a letter through the office of the director, CRUTECH Consultancy Services Limited and signed by one Barrister P.O Ogah, the company’s secretary, issued to each of the 18 tricycle operators asked them to stop operations with effect from Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
The later dated June 29, 2016 and titled “GOVERNMENT DIRECTIVE ON THE MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY ON CAMPUS” came a week after they met with the ‘KEKE’ drivers informing them of their decision to stop their operations which many argue did not give them ample time to prepare for it.
The letter read: “Following the Cross River State Government directive on the maintenance of peace and security on University campus and its environs, I am directed to inform you that all operators of tricycle (KEKE) shall stop their operation within the university campus with effect from today Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
“You are hereby so inform accordingly to stop operations on campus forthwith.
“The management of CRUTECH Consult regrets any inconvenience this might cause you.”
However, some tricycles operators who said they recently joined the group and their “rent” not due till January 2017 wondered what becomes of them even though majority had their renewal due for next week.
The drivers complained bitterly over the short time given to them to prepare for their exit as it costs up to 45,000 thousand Naira to register tricycles to run outside the campus with a few who spoke with CrossRiverWatch on Tuesday and Wednesday wondering why the varsity took such a harsh decision.
“Management told us that they are acting based on the advice of the State Security Adviser, Jude Ngaji” said one who declined mentioning his name. He continued, “They said it is because of insecurity, that all the crimes, stealing and shooting of people are been carried out by KEKE drivers”.
“Why don’t they ban those outside first?” queried another, “How does the stealing outside concerns we who are inside the Campus? I know they will change the decision, because there is no alternative in place” he added.
However, our reporter sighted three tricycle operators Thursday morning around 6:15, 6:27 and 6:31 A.M in the varsity’s compound with little information whether the passengers were allowed to disembark at the gate without confrontation from the school’ security personnel.
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