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2011: Okada riders force Akala to withdraw ban

By Ola Ajayi
MORE facts emerged Wednesday on circumstances that forced Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State to rescind his earlier order banning motorcyclists within Ibadan metropolis from plying federal and state roads.

Due to frequent deaths occasioned by excessive speed and non-observance of traffic signals, the administration of Governor Alao-Akala directed the Okada riders to vacate federal and state roads.

But, some weeks after, the motorcyclists were back on the roads. According to an impeccable source, the governor changed his decision when the leader of the motorcyclists told him that they were so many that they could determine the success of the governor’s second term ambition.

It was gathered that when the heat was so intense with policemen and men of the Federal Roads and Safety Corps, FRSC, carrying out the governor’s order, the leader of the motorcyclists went to the governor’s office to plead with him.

He reportedly told the governor that the number of all Okada riders in the state was 55,000 and that if the governor left them alone to operate their business, they would vote for him come 2011.

On hearing that, the governor said he was not aware of any order binding them from plying some roads. He then gave them his words that they should continue operating without any hindrance.

But replying, Prince Dotun Oyelade, Special Adviser on Public Communication said “we said from the onset that we are not out to compound the economic hardship of our people. All we want is a more environmentally friendly society and a safer one at that. The law is of course in place and only commercial Okada riders who don’t ride to endanger lives will have respite.”


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