From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Ethical and Attitudinal re-orientation Commission (EARCOM) in Akwa Ibom has urged commercial tricycle riders plying their trade in Uyo Metropolis to always be cautious on the steering so as to escape avoidable incidents on the roads.
Executive chairman of the commission, Deaconess Christy Obot, expressed displeasure over the poor driving attitude often exhibited by these riders in the metropolis.
She deposed that driving in the town had become frustrating “because the riders do not care to know which is speed lane, slow lane and when not to swerve to the next lane in the face of an oncoming vehicle, or when not to over- take or enter a major road from an adjoining street.
“In fact, they are now road masters, and you dare not try to caution any of them driving recklessly on the road without being made an object of all manners of verbal abuse.”
According to the EARCOM boss, “good attitude and good driving go hand in hand because without good attitude, proper driving attitude will be a nightmare, just as we often experience now in the metropolis.”
Deaconess Obot further pointed out that “it is now apparent that all it takes to be a keke driver in the state is one’s financial ability to purchase the tricycle without necessarily undergoing first, the appropriate driving training to gain the experience to be able to drive as expected without becoming a nuisance on the road.
She therefore called on the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and other related traffic control agencies to rise to the challenge in order to bring sanity and decency to roads in the metropolis, adding that a good number of the riders in Uyo do not have proper driving experience, and should of necessity be trained or retrained adequately on complete driving course, since a tricycle is equally vehicular in nature just like cars’.
Commenting on alleged complicity of the tricycle riders in bag snatching, kidnapping and other criminalities in the state, the EARCOM chairman urged residents and visitors to the state to be alert and quickly report any dubious characters among them to the law enforcement agencies.
Her words: “Keke riders should know that by their activities and their large numbers on our city roads they represent a significant image of the state to any visitor coming into the state.
“In view of this, I implore them to be great ambassadors of the state in their daily business and activities by being honest, trustworthy and respectful in order to put the state in good light.”
Deaconess Obot maintained that “Akwa Ibom people are known globally to be exceptional personalities of honest, friendliness, hospitality and of good moral and attitudinal disposition”, adding that “a great number of investors and tourists are now invading the state on daily basis due to its peaceful atmosphere and development strides, and this therefore places on our shoulders the need for us all to encourage our visitors to stay comfortably for the overall rapid economic development and growth of our state”