This should have been the title – I
do not miss Keke Napep (Tricycle) but ends up being my ramblings about keke napep cos I still like bikes.
The Lagos (Nigeria) state government recently announced a ban on motorcycles popularly known as okada and tricycles known as keke Napep. The announcement was initially thought to be a rumor as past governments attempted it in 2017 but was eventually lifted and they continued operations until 1st February 2020. There has been a massive outcry from both riders and the commuters not to talk of the untold hardship upon the masses. In my interactions with people , there is a bit of mixed feelings as regards the recent development but for me ,I feel the pain of only the e-hailing bike services as a huge investment has gone into this sector and should be recouped, they also remain my trusted allies despite their lapses.
There is a love-hate relationship between myself and keke napep as a result of my experiences. I have seen emergency cases rushed to the hospital and the lady was in a coma just from a keke accident . On one occasion I had an escape, the guy was speeding recklessly and with several warnings, he refused to slow down only for the keke tyre to remove in motion while we were on top speed. Our saving grace was that no vehicle was coming from behind or in front of us and how i was able to hold tight a 6 months old baby remains a great testimony.
In the coming week , I started taking e-hailing taxis then had to start driving again which is not my favorite past-time in Lasgidi (Lagos). If you don’t drive in Lagos, you presume and assume they are the coolest inventions but if you have been in a keke or bike accident before, you will be angry and while driving they seems to be worse than bikes. Mainly because they feel like they are mates with cars since they both have a roof over their head compared to okadas. At the same time they are still dragging equality with bikes by wanting to pass through that small space like them which totally makes them neither a car nor a bike, just annoying and sometimes a pest.
Keke is cool and fun in fact they can make you arrive in style if you don’t want to take a taxi, even bridal parties have used it on their wedding day and I have countless selfies taken in the comfort of keke napep. My all time favorite favorite keke had nice graffiti and inspirational quotes written in colourful ink, fan, Tv screen and a jar of sweet to welcome you, though it was empty that morning. Then it became a norm when “Corporate Keke Guy” started operations , these guys wore suit and tie, shirts, plus dress down Fridays with branded T-shirt. The service delivery was also commendable and it was indeed comfortable riding one as I had no reason to complain.
Now, what happens to the Co-orporate keke guy and other keke guys ? Do they migrate to other states or what plans are in the pipeline for them. And for the motorcycles, I sincerely support regulating and bringing back the e-hailing bikes as they seems like a necessity for this city called Lagos.