AS PART of efforts to control the activities of the commercial motorcyclists, popularly called okada, the Oyo State Government said that over 5,000 okada riders have been captured in its database.
The Executive Assistant to the gGovernor on Administration and General Services, Rev. Idowu Ogedengbe, who made this known on Monday, in Ibadan, while featuring on the Guests’ forum of the Oyo State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), informed that the state government was worried over the influx of okada riders to the state.
Also, he said that any commercial bike yet to be captured or registered in the data base were risking arrest and prosecution by Oyo State Government.
According to Rev Ogendegbe ,the registration followed the ban of many okada riders in Lagos State and the influx of the displaced commercial motorcyclists to the state, coupled with the fact that the state police command has paraded on different occasions, some okada riders, using the means of transportation to commit a crime.
He warned that any commercial motorcycle rider that failed to register, would face the wrath of the law as the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) has been directed to apprehend those that have refused to register. He added that the first thing every commercial motorcyclist must do before starting operation in the state is to get registered.
The registration, according to him, would assist the government to track down those that may be using the means of transportation to commit criminal offences.
He however, said the government is not contemplating banning commercial motorcycles in the state because it remains a means of survival for many households.
“Okada business is a means of livelihood for some people in the state; it will affect them if their operations are stopped out rightly. Any Okada rider who wants to operate in the state should register, anybody who failed to do so shall be sanctioned.
“What we want to achieve with this is to reduce the security threat that those people riding on motorcycles could bring upon our state. We don’t want to do it in a way that we will impinge on the rights of any law-abiding okada rider, going about with his means of livelihood.
He added that one of the major problems facing the present administration in Oyo State “is lack of funds” arising from the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and short fall in price of crude oil on the two major sources of revenue for the state government -federal government allocation and internationally generated revenue.
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