Banning Okada Nationwide Will Push Millions Of Our Members Into Crime – Riders Association Tells FG
The Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs, and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN) has asked the Federal Government to discard its idea to ban the use of motorcycles nationwide, warning that it would lead millions of its members who would become jobless into crime.
The Association said the complete ban may toss millions of Nigerians who make a living through motorcycles into crime or the already saturated labour market and further create “another monster” that will ultimately worsen the situation.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, the National President of ACOMORAN, Alhaji Samsudeen Adebayo Apelogun, stated that the association’s members are law-abiding citizens who pay their taxes.
Apelogun said that the government has not made any plan to absorb this set of people into paid employment, noting that riders have children, spouses, and people who depend on them to provide for them.
According to him, of the 200 million people in the country, about 98 million, close to half of the population, suffer from abject poverty and do not have vehicles of theirs.
He said banning motorcycles, popularly known as ‘okada’, would further make the people vulnerable and miserable.
Recall the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, recently disclosed that the federal government was considering banning motorcycles and mining activities nationwide as part of measures to tackle security challenges.
But ACOMORAN leader, while opposing the move, said that the government lacked effective security architecture, calling on it to overhaul the security architecture instead of blaming motorcycle operations for the failure of security agencies.
Apelogun said, “Commuters see motorcycles as a relief to their transportation problems, while motorcycle riders see their adventure as a source of livelihood. Without a doubt, the use of motorcycles has enhanced mobility for the middle-income earners which by extension has contributed to an increase in production through an increase in man-hours.
“Let me put it on record that from experience, 95 percent of those you see riding motorcycles are doing it because they don’t have better options and they don’t want to take to crime.
“If ten million of these 40million people they plan to render jobless take to crime, can the government contain them? If you attribute the movement of terrorists to motorcycles, don’t criminals operate with vehicles? When terrorists regrettably attacked Kuje prison, was it the motorcycle riders that caused the failure of intelligence gathering?
“If they rode motorcycles there, how were they able to beat all the security checkpoints to get to such a fortified facility? Was it motorcycles that made it possible for them to overpower the security agents attached to the facility? Are motorcycles also responsible for the re-enforcement? he questioned.”