Tony Okafor, Awka
No fewer than 15,000 people will be thrown into the labour market in Anambra State following the ban on commercial motorcyclists in Onitsha and Awka, the Zonal leader, Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria, Kingsley Nworah has said.
He expressed reservation over the government’s decision, saying they were taken unawares.
The state government had on Tuesday announced the banning of Okada operations from July 1.
In a statement by the Press Secretary to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr James Eze, the decision was one of the resolutions reached at the state executive council meeting on Tuesday.
He said it was part of the overall strategy adopted by the government to deepen its crackdown on crime and restore sanity in Onitsha and Awka.
But Nwora while addressing journalists on Wednesday at the MOTUN office in Awka, the state capital, said the association had over 15,000 members in Awka and Onitsha who would lose their jobs because of the pronouncement.
He said most of his members were breadwinners of their families, wondering what would befall their wives and children in the circumstance.
He said,”We are not less than 10,000 members in Onitsha and about 5,000 members in Awka.
When reminded that the ban was a security control measure, Nworah asked,”Is it only Okada that is used to commit crimes? Haven’t they seen where cars, especially jeeps were used in robbery and kidnapping operations? Will they now ban jeeps in the state?
“Besides, we have always cautioned our members against getting involved in criminal activities, while we penalise the erring ones as a deterrent to others.”
Nworah who admitted that certain criminal activities were executed with the assistance of motorcycles, however, maintained that outright ban of commercial motorcycle operators was not the solution.
He said his union generated over N1.2m monthly to the state’s coffers as Internally Generated Revenue. @flexible