“Proposed nationwide ban on okada: Don’t do it” – Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt Forum, Arewa Youths warn FG

Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF), and the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) have urged the federal government against enforcing its proposed plan to outlaw commercial motorbikes, also known as “Okadas” throughout the nation.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, spoke to the media alongside Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of the Interior, and Mohammed Dingyadi, the Minister of Police Affairs, and said that the National Security Council meeting on Thursday, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, decided that a proposed nationwide ban on commercial motorcycles would help reduce terrorism in the nation.

According to Sun News, the Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, MBF and AYCF have noted that the Federal Government’s proposal was akin to chasing shadows while leaving the substance unattended. The groups accused the Federal Government of insincerity in the war against terror, and charged the government to direct the security agencies to go after the terrorists in their camps rather than place a blanket ban on motorcycle transportation, which they noted would further aggravate hunger and insecurity in the country.

The National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Chidozie Alex Ogbonnia noted that motorcycle ban would worsen insecurity because of the large number of youths who depend on daily earnings riding motorcycles will be jobless.

National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, said the government is not serious about terrorism fight. He described the proposed ban as another evidence that deep or scientific thinking does not characterise how decisions are arrived at in the corridors of power.

The publication added that Afenifere further indicted the Minister of Interior, Aregbesola of failing to act on credible intelligence report that Kuje Correctional Centre was to be attacked.

President of MBF, Dr Pogu Bitrus, said: “A blanket ban on motorcycles will not solve the problem. The Federal Government knows the locations of terrorists’ camps, so why not root them from those camps? However a ban could be necessary in places that are known to be notorious for terrorists operating on motorcycles. Motorcycles and tricycles are used to transport people and goods in rural areas, so it is better for the Federal Government to root out the terrorists from their camps, which they already know.” 

The publication stated that the President of AYCF, Yerima Shettima argued that a blanket ban on motorcycles nationwide will be counter productive as a high number of youths depend on it for survival.

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