Minna Residents Worry over Return of Okada Riders | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Minna Residents Worry over Return of Okada Riders

Posted: May 1, 2015 at 4:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chinwendu Nnadozie,  Minna


The reappearance of commercial motorcycles (okada) and the high rate of accidents, particularly in the Minna metropolis and its environs, have now become a source of concern to the residents.

A ward in the Minna General Hospital named after a motorcycle brand (Jincheng Ward) is fast becoming congested with accident victims following the devlopment.

The Governor Babangida Aliyu-led administration had banned commercial motorcycle operators in the wake of the rampant killings of some policemen by people suspected to be members of the Islamic extremist group, Boko-Haram, in Niger State.

The criminals, who operated mostly during late evenings on motorcycles, killed their victims and made away with their guns, leading to the deaths of about

Four policemen in different parts of the state were victims of the suspected terrorists, with Minna, the state capital, having higher number of casualties before the state government announced the ban. But many of the okada operators have resurfaced, pledging their allegiance to the in-coming government of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Among those who spoke on recent development in the okada operation in the state, a Minna resident, Mr. Owolabi Rasaq, decried the recklessness of the operators.

According to him, the development has led to the sudden increase in the number of accident patients at the Minna General Hospital.

Speaking to our correspondent in the popular Jincheng Ward at the hospital, Rasaq recalled what transpired the day Gen. Muhamadu Buhari was declared winner of the March 28 elections.

Rasaq, a pensioner, said it is unfortunate that youngsters put their life on the line in the name of celebrating victory which, according to him, led to one of the operators injuring his relative currently on admission in the hospital.

While appealing to the state government to check the menace of the okada riders across the state, Rasaq said he was worried that the trend is damaging the image of the APC as next ruling party in the country.