Andrew Tarker, Abuja
In its sustained effort to rid Abuja, the nation’s capital city of the menace of commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Okada riders in common parlance, the Federal Capital Territory Adminstration has commenced immediate confiscation and crushing of defaulting motorcycles.
This followed a massive raid by the joint enforcement taskteam, which took its operations to notorious hotspots in Durumi I and Durumi II, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). Other areas raided include Lokogoma roundabout, Piwoyi Junction near Shoprite mall, Lugbe FHA, and popular Lugbe Police signboard, along Airport Road, all in AMAC, where some riders are in the habit of attacking enforcement officers.
During the raid, it was observed that the team comprising of officials drawn from FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), with watertight security cover from the Police, Military and Paramilitary operatives not only confiscated many motorcycles, but also apprehended some recalcitrant operators, for allegedly contravening traffic rules as well as constituting environmental and security threats to lives and property in the city.
Also, the raid, which aims at riding the city of increasing nuisances from the operations of commercial motorcyclists within the areas visited and other prohibited areas of the nation’s capital city, came barely one month, that one of the newly recruited young male officers of the DRTS was brutally killed, when the okada operators attacked them while transversing the area, after a raid at Area 3.
Flagging off the exercise on Thursday, in a field opposite Living Faith Church, in Durumi II, Secretary, FCT Transportation Secretariat, Abdullahi Adamu Candido, said it is going to be a continuous initiative, untill the prohibited motorcycles are completely flushed out, so that the city can become what all will be proud of.
He said: “The FCTA will now be more determined than before, because of the security and maintenance of the plan of the city, so we can have good city that all Nigerians will be proud of.
“This is a developing city that is guided by planned policies of government, which we must not allow any lawless person to set backward. On behalf of the FCTA , let me re-echo that we will never watch people, who do not have respect for the law to overhaul the good citizens who want things going in a decent manner.” he stressed
Similarly, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah, who led raid, noted that the issue of Okada is more of a security threat than commercial or transportation problem in the Territory.
Attah recalled that just three weeks ago around the same area, one of its personnel from DRTS was stabbed and killed by the Okada riders, adding that “one of us was badly injured in the neck, but thank God he is stable while recuperating”.
According to him, “Durumi that is very notorious for their activities is prohibited for them to be operating here, and the Minister is extremely grateful to all agencies involved in the exercise. We are assuring that we keep putting in our best to ensure that this city is very safe”.
Also speaking, DRTS Director, Abdullateef Bello disclosed that the confiscation and crushing of the about two hundred motorcycles was to serve as serious deterrence to others especially the recalcitrant operators.
He explained that the exercise was in line with the policy that prohibited their operation within the nation’s capital city since 2006.