By Henry Odeh
Following reported security situations emanting from activities of commercial motorcycle and trycycle riders popularly called Okada and keke NAPEP on roads across the state, the Oyo state house of assembly has taken a bold step to set machineries in motion to adequately regulate activities of riders in the state in order to ensure a safer and more organized society.
The house during its plenary yesterday deliberated on a bill titled ” A Bill For Control Of Motorcycle Further Amendment 2019 which has been read for the third time and passed.
The house, while deliberating on the bill observed that majority of crimes perpetrated across the state in recent times as well as increased rate of preventable accidents on the roads have all been attributed to the activities of okada riders. The house further observed that the situation has reached an alarming stage and therefore calls for urgent regulation of commercial riders activities.
The house noted that the ban of okada operation in Lagos state has turned Oyo state into a dumping ground for all kinds of people across Nigeria including foreign nationals who finds Oyo suitable for their activities as a result of inadequate regulation and control of their operations thereby, increasing security threat and spate of accidents on the road.
Hon. Olushola Owolabi (IBNE II) while making his contribution to the bill stated that sanity in the state needed urgent attention adding that most of the riders are reported to be foreigners from neighboring african countries noting that if okada riders are granted permit or licence by appropriate authorities before having the right to engage in okada riding business, more caution would be applied during operation and criminal elements disguising as okada riders to perpetrate heinous crimes would be easily flushed out.
Hon Ayotunde Fatokun (Akinyele I) in his contribution noted that in the case of issuing permit to riders before they start operating on the road, an insurance policy should be included in the requirement for permit because of health hazard and risks involved in the trade.
Hon. Ashimiyu Alarape, the former speaker and presently the minority leader of the 9th assembly representing Atiba state constituency added that time frame should be included in the regulation in order to reduce crime rate since reported crimes perpetrated by okada riders are usually carried out towards the evening period of the day.
The house therefore, resolved to regulate activities of okada and tycyle riders in the state under a single umbrella body which state government can properly hold to account over riders activities in the state.