Operation of commercial motorcycles, also known as okada, has been outlawed by the Ondo State Government in Akure metropolis following a protests by the riders against what they termed the government’s exploitation through plate numbers and residency card.
The ban, according to the announcement made by the state government, takes effect from 12 midnight of Friday July 24.
In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Rotimi Adelola, the state government said: “By the suspension, no commercial motorcycle (Okada) operation will be allowed on the following roads and connecting locations: Adesida Road to Oyemekun to FUTA South Gate and all adjoining routes Federal Secretariat to State Secretariat to NEPA Junction Arakale Road to Army Barracks and all adjoining routes”.
“Oda Town to State Secretariat and all adjoining roads; Futa North Gate to Shasha and all adjoining Roads; Fiwasaye Road to Agbogbo; Oba Ile to Mobil- Fiwasaye Roundabout and all adjoining roads; Fiwasaye to A Division and all adjoining roads; Cash Hold to Adofure and all adjoining routes; State High Court to Hospital Round about to Oshinle and all adjoining routes; Ijomu-Oke Ijebu to Agbogbo and all adjoining roads”.
“Araromi to Akure High School and all adjoining routes; All Housing Estates Roads including Alagbaka, Oba Ile, Ijapo, Afunbiowo, Shagari and others; Oluwatuyi to Ijoka and all adjoining roads and Fiwasaye to Ado Junction.”
Mr. Adelola also noted that the Ondo State Government also suspended ticketing activities of commercial motorcycle operators across the state.
On the protests by the Okada riders on Thursday, he said, “Government has set up an Investigative Panel.
“Effective from 12 midnight today, any unregistered commercial motorcycle (Okada) will be impounded. Government in making these decisions notes that the brigandage and destruction by commercial motorcycle operators (Okada) was against registration and identification, which is a must for monitoring, management and security purposes.
“Government notes that in the last six years, several marches, protests and rallies have been held, all of which never led to the destruction of property as witnessed on Thursday.”
Mr. Adelola further stated that the government was shocked by the recklessness of the protesters, saying that it found no connection between the protest and uprooting of groomed ornamental trees and plants meant to make the city cleaner.
He alleged that several categories of civil servants who were going about their lawful and daily businesses, were either physically assaulted or locked in or out of their places of work. While admitting the protest was a legitimate means of expressing grievances, he said the destructive protest was way beyond what was permissible in any civilised society.
“Ours is a civilised society on an irreversible march to further growth and inclusive development,” he said.
“Government can therefore not afford to allow a recourse to vandalism as witnessed in the last protest. Government enjoins that as a people we must guard jealously the peace we have thus far enjoyed in our state.”
He said security operatives were prepared to ensure the safety of lives and property, and warned that those attempting to vandalise and destroy its property should be ready to face the full weight of the law.
“Government enjoins residents to go about their lawful activities and bear the obvious inconveniences that may arrive as a result of these necessary actions,” he said.
“Our state is a state of law, of order and of peace. Government cannot look on and watch the ill advised efforts of a few to turn it otherwise. Hence this preliminary action. Government expects full compliance and will not accommodate any further lawlessness.”