By Adeola Abosede
Commercial motorcycle operators, popularly known as ‘okada’ riders, who operate in the suburbs of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have lamented what they described as the extortionate fees imposed on them by their unions.
Some of the operators who spoke with our reporter in Lugbe area, along Airport Road, Abuja, complained bitterly about how the unions have been conniving with some unscrupulous law enforcement agents to corner chunks of their meager income.
The ‘okada’ riders said the last thing they needed, with the movement restrictions already introduced by the FCT Administration (FCTA) on their operations in certain areas, was further issues with the unions.
A rider, Taiye Samson, said the unions kept claiming that the dues collected from members were being used for road maintenance and other welfare packages for them but they doubt the claim.
“I work day and night to reduce poverty in my family since white collar jobs are hard to find for even the educated ones. I want to appeal to the government to come to our aid and save us from further hardship”, he said.
Samson, however called on his colleagues to respect the sanctions introduced by government on their operations to the suburbs in order to ensure their safety and that of other road users in FCT.
Another operator, who did not want his name on print, said ‘okada’ riders are being extorted under the guise of ticket registration, jacket provision, identification number and others