'Okada' ban will create more bandits, terrorists, criminals - ROMO tells FG

Riders and Owners of Motorcycle Organisation (ROMO), Ogun State has called on the Federal government to shelve the proposed ban of commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as okada riders across the country, saying the ban will further worsen the insecurity situation in the country.

The association described the proposed ban of commercial motorcyclists as the height of government's insensitivity to the plights of Nigerians.

The Chairman of the association, Shotayo Olushola Rasak (Sholebo) disclosed this in a statement in Abeokuta on Monday.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami had last week hinted that the Federal government was considering banning commercial motorcyclists and mining activities in a bid to stem the rising insecurity across the country.

Malami claimed motorcycles provide the means of transportation for terrorists while mining is their source of funds for the purchase of arms.

But reacting to Malami, Shotayo insisted that, the ban of commercial motorcycles would bring untold hardships on Nigerians who are already feeling the heat of the poor economy.

According to the association, no fewer than 40 million Nigerians will be directly rendered unemployed if the government ban commercial motorcyclists.

He urged the Federal government to adopt the security strategy of Ogun State government which regulated the activities of commercial motorcyclists by registering and collating their data.

"We urge the Federal government not go ahead with the proposed plan to ban commercial motorcyclists ad this will further worsen the security challenges the government is trying to solve.

"Banning commercial motorcyclists is a way of creating another major security problem instead of solving it.

"Insetead of banning commercial motorcyclists, the Federal government should adopt the security strategy of Ogun State government which regulated activities of commercial motorcyclists by registering and collating the data of cyclists.

"The Ogun State government has been trying in combating insecurity by creating a data bank of commercial motorcyclists and this strategy is paying off.

"Over the years, the State government in conjunction with security agencies and motorcyclists unions have been fighting insecurity by regulating their activities.

"For example, all motorcyclists unions set up a task force and with the help of the security agencies have been arresting criminal elements hiding under the guise of commercial motorcyclist and perpetrating crime in the State.

"Recently, over 150 criminals using unregistered motorcycles were arrested and handed over to the police for prosecution.

"This strategy has been working well so far, to the extent that, some States, including Oyo, Osun, Kano and Sokoto among others have approached the Ogun State government to learn about its security template.

"We therefore urged the Federal government to shelve this proposed action and adopt a better security strategy to combat insecurity."

He pledged the association's support to the Federal government's fight against insecurity.

Shotayo particularly acknowledged the role of the Secretary and Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, Solola Olamilekan (Awikonko) and Akinleye Hammed in sensitising their members against engaging in criminal activities.

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