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While the Federal Government of Nigeria said it was considering a nationwide ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as okada, over 100 of branded Okadas were sighted on the premises of the Ogun State Government House.
PLATFORM TIMES observed that inside the Government House, located at Isale-Igbein area of Abeokuta, the state capital housed scores of Okadas branded in colour of yellow and green.
PLATFORM TIMES further gathered that the colour-branded Okadas share the same colour with the mass transit buses proposed by the State government.
The motorcycles were seen at the Valley View early Thursday morning.
Some residents told PLATFORM TIMES that two trucks, which were seen on Wednesday evening, carried the motorcycles to the Government House.
A resident who did not her name mentioned said security men were manning the entrance gate.
The source said, “I saw trucks taking many motorcycles inside the premises yesterday.
“So, when I left the front side of the Government House and was returning to my office, the trucks were still there.
“When I passed the front side of the Government House this morning, the trucks were not there but I saw the motorcycles parked there.
“There are over 100 motorcycles there. The colour of the okadas are green and yellow, which is quite close to the colour of that mass transit by the government.”
Our reporter also visited the Government House and saw the motorcycles at the premises.
Meanwhile, PLATFORM TIMES recalls that Lagos State, a neighbour to Ogun State, had banned commercial motorcycles in some areas of the state due to security threat.
At the time, Ogun residents decried the influx of okada riders in sub-urban areas of the State.
Also, sometime in July, PLATFORM TIMES had reported that the state governor, Dapo Abiodun had placed restriction on okada riders on the plying highways.
Some residents however showed concern that the motorcycles came in at the time the country is considering a national ban.
They further alleged that Abiodun might want to use the motorcycles as an empowerment to further strengthen his second term bid.
Furthermore, the source said later on Thursday, some men were seen loitering at the premises of the Government House in what appears to be a clue that the motorcycles would be moved to somewhere else.
“From the distance that I’m looking at the Government House, I could count eight men.
“I can’t gain entry inside the place but from where I’m standing, I can see over 100 motorcycles.
“People are entering the premises but they are insiders.”
Pictures of the Okadas from a distance.
It could be recalled that earlier in July 21, 2022, Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami of the federation, who spoke after the national security council meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja, said several approaches to contain insecurity were deliberated during the meeting.
He said motorcycles provide the means of transportation for terrorists while mining is their source of funds for the purchase of arms.
“Placing a ban on the use of motorcycles and mining activities will cut the supply of logistics to the terrorists. This will be done in the national interest,” the attorney-general had said.
He added, “We are Nigerians because Nigeria as a country exists and any issue that will translate into a threat to national security or the corporate existence of the country requires certain sacrifices.
“So, regardless of the means that is being considered for the possible banning, this is a sacrifice that we see as what will help address the security challenges and I think no sacrifice is too big as far as that issue is concerned.”
Meanwhile, efforts to get comment from the government prove abortive as the State Commissioner for Transportation, Engr. Gbenga Dairo said in a text that he was busy at the moment.
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