Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Nigerians express mixed reactions over proposed Okada ban

The federal government had announced that it was considering a ban on motorcycles as part of its strategy to cripple terrorists’ activities in the country.

• July 31, 2022
Motorcycles (Credit: Ahmed Oluwasanjo/Peoples Gazette)
Motorcycles (Credit: Ahmed Oluwasanjo/Peoples Gazette)

Nigerians have continued to express their divergent views on the federal government’s consideration of a possible restriction on using commercial motorcycles, also known as okada. 

The federal government had announced that it was considering a ban on motorcycles as part of its strategy to cripple terrorists’ activities in the country.

Adenuga Opanuga, chairman of the Lagos branch, Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers (NIHTE), said commercial motorcycles, though filling some gaps, had brought in several hazards.

Mr Opanuga supported the government’s proposal on the motorcycles but said there should be alternatives to minimise the effect on ordinary people using them to make ends meet.

Stating that the nation’s dwindling economy and power challenges contributed to their popularity and acceptability, he decried riders’ recklessness.

Bolanle Akinyemi, the Akinrogun of Iwaya land, advised the federal government to resolve insecurity by tracking and applying sanctions against sponsors of terrorism in the nation.

He said this would cut off funding for insurgents and curb their menace.

Nonetheless, he said a ban on commercial motorcycles, good as the motive might be, would increase hardship and poverty.

Fatai Igho, a commercial bus driver who plies the Sabo-Yaba to Iyana Ipaja, recalled motorcycle riders almost lynched him.

“They act as lords of the road and ride recklessly, if you hit them, it is trouble, if they hit you, they will still gather to attack the innocent driver,” he said.

However, Chuks Akaeze, a commercial motorcycle operator in Agege, urged the government to use technology to fish out insurgents hiding in bushes and using motorcycles negatively.

Mr Akaeze said those using motorcycles for a legitimate business to cater for their families should, however, not be made to suffer for the sins of criminals.

Busola Lawal, a resident of Sogunle, and Folabi Ogundipe, residing in the Ogudu area of Lagos, also expressed their views on the proposal.

They both argued that if the proposal was for a total ban on commercial motorcycles, it would have a negative impact on the transportation system.


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