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Lawal Fawas, ABEOKUTA
Commercial motorcyclists popularly known as “Okada” riders operating in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital has urged Ogun state government to rescue them from their unions.
The commercial motorcyclists lamented that the unions are exploiting them and making lives difficult for them through issuance of tickets and stickers at exorbitant price .
Some of the motorcyclists who spoke with PLATFORM TIMES described the tickets and stickers fees as deliberate moves to kill their business.
They said the money they are coughing out to the unions on daily basis is discouraging them from continuing with the Okada business.
The motorcyclists also complained that apart from the unions, other agencies such as Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps also disturbed them from moving freely on the road.
In an interview with PLATFORM TIMES a 39-year old Okada rider, Mohammed Olalekan lamented that, the unions charge #500 for ticket in the morning and issued another ticket of #1,500 in the evening to anyone caught without collecting morning ticket.
According to Olalekan ”There is a sticker that government has told them not to give us again which is #2,500 in two different places and if we dare not collect it they would seize our bike and this bike is what we use to struggle to feed our family and send our children to school.
“Many of us here are graduates with good results, but we couldn’t get employed and for us to sit down and watch, we decided to collect bike in installment so as to have money to feed our homes, and is Okada business is the only means of surviving.
“We strive hard, before we carried a passenger for #50, we work from morning till night, our minimum earning is between #3000 and #4000 from which we buy petrol worth of #1,200, ticket fee #500 if we didn’t meet up early it will turn to #1,500.
“We collect sticker in two different places at the sum of #2,500, how are we going to survive in this kind of situation where Okada riders are much more than passengers and we have family at home to feed.
“And now they want to introduce uniform to us again, whereas we are still looking for money to feed ourselves.
“They are using all these unnecessary waste to collect money from us which is not right, they don’t take things easy for us.
” Temidayo one of the Okada riders,said “The inconvenience they give us is more than the what taxi drivers get and they don’t consider the suffering we are passing through but we thank God for the protection.
“Taxi ticket fee is #300, whereas okada riders are paying #500 everyday and is one passenger we must carry.
They begged the government to prevail on the unions to stop the frequent ways through which they allegedly exploit them .