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Nigerians differ over move to ban Okada

Available records indicate that the use of motorcycles as a means of transportation in Nigeria began around 1970 in Cross-Rivers state and Yola in the late seventies and later spread to Lagos the Nation’s commercial centre and to other parts of the country.

Now known as okada, this means of transportation became more popular in the late eighties following an economic downturn and even now.

Some advantages of okada are that they are readily available and easily navigate narrow, bad roads and remote areas meandering through the urban traffic thereby closing the gap in the transportation need.

The Federal Government on July 22 however announced that it was considering a ban on commercial motorcycle and mining activities as part of its strategy to curb insecurity.

The announcement has been generating series of reactions from Nigerians who feel comfortable with the proposal or otherwise.

Some residents of Akure the Ondo state Capital advised the Federal Government to provide alternatives before banning commercial motorcycle operations to avoid creating more insecurity challenges.

One of them, Mr Vincent Olowu decried the already high rate of unemployment in the country saying that the ban would further increase the unemployment rate.

Some of the okada riders spoke with Radio Nigeria appealed that government refrain from anti people policies saying that there were other ways to address the current security challenges if government was actually sincere and serious.

Also speaking, a shoemaker Mr Tayo Edun and mrs Augusta makanjuola  said the move would impoverish many Nigerians.

Some respondents however believed that the use of motorcycles for commercial driving indicated the backwardness of the country and should be curbed now that terrorists make use of it destabilize the nation.

A public affairs analyst, Dr Adedayo Afe suggested regulatory measure to monitor the operations of Okada riders rather than outright ban.

It is clear that Nigerians are divided over the move to ban Okada though everyone seeks peace.

Reporting by Abiodun Akinluwa, editing by Daniel Adejo