By: Wisdom Acka
Authorities of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Friday, impounded 94 motorcycles in Kubwa, a suburb of Abuja for operating illegally.
Accordingly, activities of the commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada remained banned in Abuja, including Kubwa, Dutse and other major satellite towns.
Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to FCT Minister, Ikharo Attah , who stated this during the exercise said that the renewed clampdown on okada was in line with a directive from the Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello.
Explaining that the directive to deal drastically with Okada was as a result of increasing criminal activities associated with their operations, Ikharo regretted that violators risked huge economic loss.
He recalled that the FCTA had approved the request of Bwari Area Council two years ago following series of complaints by the Council that a lot of crimes were being carried out with the help of Okada riders.
However, he noted that the success the Administration earlier recorded regarding enforcing the ban was lost thus resulting into huge resurgence of the cyclists in their large numbers.
Attah noted that reports from the Police revealed that there were several deaths traceable to Okada riders in the communities owing to their recklessness and mob actions, a development he warned the Administration would not tolerate.
He said: “Okada operation is not allowed in Kubwa and Dutse. With the strong synergy between the FCTA and Bwari Area Council, following their request two years ago, the operation will continue till sanity is restored.
“FCTA Security Department and the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), with the support of Bwari Area Council, cleaned up Kubwa to a point that Okada disappeared completely. Later on, we saw resurgence of Okada and the menace has been very complicated in this axis.
“From what we heard from the Police Divisional Headquarters, Kubwa is that there has been so much burial, resulting from Okada-related deaths due to recklessness, accidents or mob action.
“The Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello during the last executive meeting gave us marching orders to clean Kubwa of Okada because they even get to the Expressways in flagrant disregard of traffic rules, mess up the roads and commit mayhem”, he added.
Also speaking, the Head, DRTS Operations, Deborah Osho, confirmed that 94 bikes were impounded during the operation and would be sustained.
She said: “About 94 bikes were impounded today from Kubwa and Dutse and the operation will continue”.