The strike embarked upon by commercial tricycle operators, popularly known as Adaidaita Sahu, in Kano, has inflicted hardship on commutters in the state.
The tricyclists have decided to withdraw their services on the roads to protest the imposition of N100 daily levy by Kano state government, through the Kano Road Transport Authority, KAROTA.
PlatinumPost observed on Monday morning that the usual cacophony of sounds often created by the rowdy tricyclists were nowhere to be found, just as commuters were seen stranded along roads within the metropolis.
Our reporter observed that workers, students and traders have resorted to trekking as they could not find any commercial tricycle to go to their respective destinations.
It was, however, observed that only private vehicles, taxis and commercial busses were moving along the roads, as commuters were left with no option but to trek long distances to their respective destinations.
In a chat with PlatinumPost, some of the commutters expressed displeasure over the situation, saying that it is only the poor people that are bearing the brunt of the strike.
A secondary school student, Hajara Magaji, lamented that she had to trek from Ja’in area in Gwale Local Government to Kano Girls Day Science School at Kofar Nassarawa, Kano Municipal Local Government, which is about a distance of 3 kilometres .
“I suffer a lot. I have never trekked this distance in my life. I had to miss 2 periods. Thank God our school management is aware of the situation, we would have been punished,” she said.
A schoolteacher, Sani Karo, said he does not have a vehicle and had to miss the school today as he teaches at a school about 5 kilometers from his residential area.
According to Karo, he was not aware of the strike until when he spent over 30 minutes waiting for a commercial tricyclists, but did not find any.
He added that “my area is an area where other commercial vehicles do not come. I have to trek to the roadside to board adaidaita sahu. It is the only commercial vehicle available in our area.
” This situation is worrisome. We can’t withstand this suffering. It is we, the poor ones that bear the brunt,” he said.
Another teacher said “I am in secondary school. I didn’t know the strike would go on, only for me to spend over an hour here, waiting for a vehicle to transport me to my place of work,”
“I don’t think I can make it to school today because the first period has already gone. I’m not happy about this development. I call on the government and the tricycle operators to resolve this matter amicably as it will affect many areas of development, especially education and economy,” she said.
At Darnawa area in Tarauni Local Government, many tricycles were seen packed by the roadsides as students and other commuters resorted to trek to their respective destinations.
However, some handful of the aggrieved tricycle operators were seen at the Darmanawa area staging a demonstration.
About 50 young people were seen carrying clubs and tree branches, threatening to beat up any KAROTA officer they see on their way.
Reacting to the issue, the Managing Director of KAROTA, Baffa Dan’agundi, said there is no going back in the tax collection system.
Speaking to Freedom Radio FM in Kano on Monday, Me Dan’agundi said the manual process of the tax collection was kicked against by the tricyclists, prompting the government to introduce a payment system through REMITA.
“But, even this online payment has now received stiff resistance from them but let me tell them that no going on this. We are acting on a law that was amended in 2017.
” It is not arbitrary; it was based on law. If they don’t pay the tax, how do we construct and repair the roads they are playing?.
“Let me tell them that the government is not worried about their strike. At least, it has made Kano roads quiet. I know they can not withstand this strike. This strike is temporary. I know they can not stay at home for a period of one month. I dare them to stay at home for a month without shelving the strike,” he said.
Dan’agundi also stated that those kicking against the payment process are those hoodlums within the tricyclists who are bent on breaking law and order of the state.
The aggrieved tricycle operators have decided to embark on the strike to show their grievances over online payment of the N100 tax.
According to them, they are not contending the payment of the N100 levy but the process of the payment, through REMITA is tedious and unacceptable.
They urged the state government to continue with its former way of payment where tax collectors are stationed by the roadsides to collect the amount at various Local Government areas.
Briefing journalists in Kano on Monday, the newly-deployed Commissioner of Police in the state, Sama’ila Shuaibu Dikko said the command had arrested an unspecified number of hoodlums that started the protest.
He noted that the command, based on the information at its disposal, observed that it was hoodlums under the guise of tricyclists that wanted to cause a break of law and order, stressing that the command would not condone that and shall restore peace in the city.
He added that some police personnel have been deployed to some flash points in the state, adding that normalcy would soon be restored at some reported areas where the protest was said to have been staged.