By Nna Anulumadu
It is no more news that the Anambra State government under former Governor Willie Obiano for the past 8 years banned the operation of commercial motorcyclists in the state following a lot of criminalities associated with it, including the snatching of bags and armed robbery. But the ban could not last as expected because okada riders gradually resurrected in some areas where it was banned such as Awada, Okpoko, Fegge and other parts of the state.
Of great concern about the issue was the manner okada riders operate around Awada and Ugwuagba Obosi, especially at Old Motor Spare Parts Dealers Market, Ngbuka Obosi, where the caretaker chairman of the market, Mr Samuel Efurunwa, has lamented the number of riders in the area. Speaking during the prayer session of the market, Efurunwa decried the manner the riders come to the area with their motorcycles in spite of the ban by the Anambra State government. He told the people that okada riders would no longer be tolerated in the market and that he had been instrumental to the delay of security operatives swooping in on them at the market.
He sternly warned all okada operators at the market to desist from coming to there before the long arm of the law catches them. He also spoke against the abuse of fire in the market, such as those using gas cylinders to prevent a fire outbreak. Those abusing the market prayer ground on Fridays were also warned to desist as a mark of respect for God. Commenting on the gradual resurrection of okada riding in some areas of the state, a community leader in Okpoko, Chief lfeanyichukwu Adije, called on the present Anambra State government to find a solution to the problem.
Adije, who spoke to newsmen on the ban, condemned the manner in which okada operators are springing up again in the state, warning that unless drastic measures are taken to curb the menace, all the criminalities associated with the practice will resurface again. He wondered what the security operatives are doing in this regard, adding that for some time now okada operators have been increasing in Awada on a daily basis. He therefore charged the government to rise to the security challenge before it gets worse.