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Okada ban: Union threatens to shutdown Lagos

Okada ban: Union threatens to shutdown Lagos


The national body of commercial tricycle and motorcycle riders in Nigeria has given the Lagos State Government a 21 days ultimatum to release confiscated tricycles and motorcycles as well as detained members or risk a massive protest that would ground activities in the State.
The association, on the platform of United Commercial Keke-Napep and Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria, decried that over 4,700 tricycles and motorcycles have been seized while over 1,300 of their members have been arrested and detained so far.
The union, led by its National President, John Obozorian briefed journalists at a press conference held Thursday, at the Labour House in Abuja.
Obosorian, said “The present spate of stopping our members from performing their legitimate duties in some local government Areas in Lagos State is disturbing and worrisome and it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good. This has the tendency of increasing the crime rate if not properly handled.
“As the main umbrella workers body in Nigeria, we respectively call on the Nigeria Labour Congress to wade into this unfortunate decision of the Lagos State Government. Many of our members have been arrested and detained without allowing bail, and their motorcycles impounded. Those affected are facing terrible trauma and some of them have been hospitalized. It is imperative to let you know that most of the motorcycles impounded were made available to the detailed riders on a higher purchase basis.


“As a mark of respect to the Nigeria Labour Congress, we deem it imperative to draw your attention to this unwelcomed situation. It is our intention to give the Lagos State Government 21 days ultimate to release our arrested members in Lagos State and hand over the impounded motorcycles to those concerned, but first, we deemed it very important to intimate you of our action plan. We shall similarly if Lagos State Government refuse to listen to the voice of reason, we shall stage a massive protest and shut down Lagos transportation system until the Government does the needful.”


The union leader charged the government to employ a data-based system that would capture all commercial tricycle and motorcycle operators in the state in order to fight insecurity.
“Our main responsibility is to help in transporting human and materials to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria with particular focus on where motor vehicles find it difficult access we have been performing our duties within the ambit of the laws in Nigeria.
“Presently, our Association which is the only recognized one in Nigeria established to provide for the welfare of motorcycle and Keke NAPEPE riders in Nigeria creates job opportunities for millions of Nigeria thereby drastically reducing the rate of joblessness and criminality in Nigeria. We also contribute our quota to the social and economic development of Nigeria.
“Granted that just like any other profession and occupation in this country, be it the medical profession, law, accounting, the public services, just to mention a few, we also have some bad eggs in our system. So far, we have left no stone unturned in reporting anyone found wanting in our profession to members of the law enforcement agencies- this we shall continue to do unabated.
“The government also should endeavor to create a database for us just like is being practiced in Ero and Anambra State. This will regulate the activities of criminals who pose as okada riders or use motorcycles to commit all sorts of atrocities. Not having a database is tantamount to inviting crime.” He said.

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