Reactions Trail Obiano’s Plan To Ban Commercial Motorcycles In Onitsha, Awka

The commercial motorcycle riders popularly known as `okada riders’ in Anambra State have reacted to plans to ban the commercial riders in Onitsha and Awka from July 1.

Anambra State Government in line with civilised standards, already adopted by many other states, announced plans to ban use of motorcycle for transporting people and goods.

It was also gathered that the ban might have become imperative in order to promote security as the riders had in many cases had complicity in crime and criminality.

In the past too some motorcyclists were involved in robberies and kidnapping within communities.

Riders have also been known to breach traffic rules with impunity and have been known to be responsible for many road accidents, especially fractures and spinal cord injuries.

While reacting to the resolution to ban their operation, one Nnamdi Okeke, one of the riders, who plies Ifite-Awka Road in Awka, praised Gov. Willie Obiano for the ban.

“It will help to reduce crime perpetrated by `okada riders’.

“Some criminal elements have infiltrated our union and using motorcycles to commit crime,’’ he said.

Two riders in Onitsha, Ugochukwu Aneke and Okwudili Amawa said that they would wait until July 1, to know how seriously the ban would be.

“I will wait to see whether `okada’ can be successfully banned in Anambra State,’’ noted Aneke.

 “But we want the state government to think twice because instead of the positive results it envisages, it will only bring about negative results like increase in crimes,’’ Amawa observed.

Mr Ekene Ugwu, another cyclist said that the ban would only affect those that rely on commercial motorcycling as their only means of livelihood.

“The ban does not concern me as I have another means of livelihood.

“I only feel for some of our members who rely only on `okada riding’ for survival,’’ Ugwu said.

Addressing newsmen in his office, a member representing Onitsha 1 Constituency, Mr Patrick Aniuno said that he could not counter a law established by the Anambra State Government.

“I support the governor on ban in the operation of commercial motorcycling, but I will have a discussion with him on how to ameliorate the sufferings the ban may impose on the masses,’’ Aniuno said.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Liason, Emmanuel M Chibuzo, praised the governor over the planned ban.

“The menace caused by the riders is too much: they constitute nuisance to members of the public, and are known to use their motorcycles to commit armed robbery.

“So, what the governor plans to do is indeed good and in the interest of the people,’’ Chibuzor said. (MOI)

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