By Peter Oriyomi
The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, Telu I, has advised the Federal Government to reverse its plan to ban operations of the commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as Okada riders nationwide.
Describing the proposed ban as anti masses, Oba Akanbi said the measure could be counter-productive.
In a statement by his media aide, Alli Ibraheem, the Oluwo, who enjoined the Mohammadu Buhari administration to “device digital regulation of Okada services nationwide and not its outright ban, maintained that the ban will worsen banditry and other crimes.
Though Oba Akanbi acknowledged the threat of Okada service to the national security, he said it would heighten the unemployment already plaguing the country.
“Okada service should be controlled for effective identification and monitoring of genuine members of the operators. This measure will make it easy to know criminals among them using the service to constitute threat to our security.
“Okada service is essential, most especially in areas, where there are no motorable roads. Banning Okada, no doubt, will affect commutters’ mobility, statement read in part.
While advising the Okada riders to conduct themselves orderly, the first class monarch, said: “Regulation and proper identification of operators will assist the security operatives in checkmating insecurity and fish out criminals using Okada to perpetrate evil.
“The security status of Nigeria is fragile. In checkmating the menace, the effect of every decision must be properly examined. The unemployment presently plaguing Nigeria will be a child’s play compared to what will happen after the ban. It is like adding salt to injury should the government ban Okada service.
“One of the major factors leading to the insecurity is unemployment. Many graduates resorted to Okada riding to protect their integrity because they don’t want to engage in social vices. We can’t judge all because of the few criminals among them. Banning Okada service will worsen our security architecture.
“Instead, I will strongly advise the government to regulate the operation of Okada riders in order to fish out the bad eggs among them. If their activities are well managed and controlled, the executives of the Okada Riders Associations will coordinate themselves and report criminals among them to the authorities.”
The Oluwo also tasked all Nigerians to be vigilant and monitor activities security in their respective domains,. saying: “These are most difficult times in the history of this nation. Let’s resolve to be security vigilant and I believe we will get over it if we care.”