Okada-ban in Agbor distresses citizens

Posted by admin | 10 years ago | 4,137 times

Residents in Ika area of Delta State have condemned the ban of commercial motorcycles (okada) operations in the area. They are calling for urgent reversal as the people are suffering seriously over removal of that means of transportation.

Traditional rulers, indigenes and settlers are calling on their representatives at the State and Federal levels to mount pressure on the State Government to reverse the ban which they claim has worsened the situation of the rural people in the two local government areas - Ika South and Ika North-East.

Speaking on behalf of others, HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II (JP), the Obi of Owa kingdom in Ika North-East LGA condemned the complacence of Representatives from the Ika nationality on the ban of okada against the masses who are the electorate. Lamenting, the Obi described the ban as a slap on the integrity of the traditional rulers, the law enforcement agents and the military in the areas.

He queried the lack of consideration for the people's stake on the issue, “why did the government not call town hall meeting or call on the motorcycle operators to find lasting solution to the alleged crime commission, if it was done because of crime that made the government ban motorcycle operation?”

He also condemned the attitude of the taskforce which allegedly went into shops and people’s premises to carry away motorcycles because of the ban.

When Factnews went to parts of the two local government areas, the people were seen trekking and sweating under the sun. They complained of not being able to move freely anymore. "You know the Government did not give us keke (tricycles) like they did in Asaba before banning Okada. No means of transportation now". "Even if they gave us Keke, it won't even solve our problems. Where is the road for the Keke, these erosion-ridden roads?"

Mothers and school children appear the worst hit by the ban. Christy Onyeibe, a teacher in Agbor wondered how students/pupils would be able to cope with the ban. "Okada has been our means of transport in this part of the state; I honestly pity these young ones. How will they get to school or will they be walking long distances to get to school by 11am".

A visit to motorcycle dealers in the area at Abraka road, Boji-Boji Owa also revealed their disappointment with the ban. The chairman and his motorcycle mechanics association said more than 78 motorcycle dealers have been thrown out of business while millions of naira invested on the motorcycle business would go down the drain if the ban was not lifted.

The state Government had banned the use of commercial motorcycles in the Ika and Sapele areas with effect from October 1, 2014. The Commissioner for Transport, Ben Igbakpa had taken a taskforce to these areas on the said date to ensure compliance. Meanwhile the ban has been in existence in Asaba and Warri since November 1, 2012. This is in line with the State Government's bid to check criminality.

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