By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN- Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says contrary to what obtains in some states in the country, the state government will not ban the use of motorcycles for commercial purpose.
Speaking during a solidarity visit to him, yesterday, the Governor however appealed to commercial motorcyclists, popularly called Okada to abide by all security and safety regulations and not put their lives and that of their passengers at risk.
According to Oshiomhole, “as long as I remain the Governor, Okada will never be banned in Edo State. I agree that there are some people who have committed crimes using motorcycles, but that does not mean every motorcycle rider is a criminal. Afterall, some kidnappers have used taxis and even jeeps, and we have not banned taxis and jeeps. To me, crime fighting and crime prevention does not require banning Okada.”
The governor who said he rejected calls in the past to introduce tricycles in the state said the idea to him was primitive.
Said Oshiomhole: “I belive Nigeria should not be used as a dumping ground for tricycles. For me, it is like celebrating poverty. If we are going to move from two wheels of motorcycles, we should move to four wheels and not to tricycles. I think Nigeria must get serious in fighting poverty and the best way to do that is not to turn our country into dumping ground for tricycles.”
The Governor said the state Government planned a scheme in the past which the Okada riders were not so favourably disposed to, saying “some of you were not pleased with the scheme and we stopped it. At that time I said if they don’t want it, we can’t impose it on them.”
He however said instead of introducing tricycles in the state, the Government would rather discuss a bank to fund the possibility of procuring taxis for okada riders who are willing on cooperative basis.
Earlier, Chairman of the Okada Union in the state, Mr Peter Adoroh said the motorcycle riders were in Government House to assure the governor of their total support for him in the forthcoming elections.
He said: “we are prepared to return you to office because we have confidence in you. We see all the good works you are doing and we believe if we give you more time, you will do more and more for the state.
“You have proved to us in many ways that we can trust you with our destiny, evident by the various people-oriented projects scattered across the state. you have failed us and you will not fail us in the nxt term.”
The Governor was thereafter honoured and decorated as the Grand Patron of the Okada Riders in the state.