by Dolapo Adelana
Ekiti Governor, Ayodele Fayose has described moves by the Federal Government to ban commercial motorcycle, popularly known as Okada in the country as heartless.
The Federal Road Safety Commission recently called for a nationwide ban of Okada in the country, saying they were causing high rate of accidents.
But the governor, said he would not ban okada in the state.
“In Ekiti State, we won’t ban Okada because it is a source of livelihood to a lot of families. Why would anyone even contemplate such when government did not create alternative employment?
“With this economic recession that is biting so hard, it is heartless of the Federal Government to even think of sending Okada riders out of business instead of putting machinery in motion to check their excesses.”
According to a statement issued on Sunday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose who stated this on Saturday while addressing Okada riders that accosted him in Ikere Ekiti on his way from Abuja said the ban on Okada would worsen the country’s security situation because it would remove foods from the table of so many people.
Fayose had during a live programme on Ekiti Television and Radio Stations said there were 14,000 okada riders in the state most of whom were graduates.
“The hunger in the land is killing and most of these Okada riders are graduates who have taken to commercial motorcycling to survive because of unemployment. Many of them are even those who lost their jobs within the 21 months of this All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government and government workers, whose salaries are not being paid regularly. How does the federal government expect them to feed if their means of livelihood is taken away?
“If commercial motorcyclist is a major cause of fatal road traffic accidents across the country, as posited by the Federal Government, should proposing their ban be an option?
“Should we also say motor vehicles, especially heavy duty vehicles should be banned from plying our roads because they also cause accidents?
“I think the federal government should be concerned with the rate of unemployment in the country and the deplorable state of our roads, especially federal roads, instead of seeking to deprive Nigerians, who have taken to riding Okada to save themselves and their families from dying of hunger.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.