By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
NnewI—Commercial motorcycle operators, popularly known as Okada riders, in Nnewi, Anambra State, yesterday, embarked on protest against alleged plans by the state government to ban their operations in major cities of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi.
The riders who protested usin g the platform of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria, MTUN, wielded placards with inscriptions as “Governor Obiano please do not return criminals with ban on Okada operation” “If you ban Okada Operation in the state violent criminals will return because some people will be unemployed” Anyboby who ban Okada operation in the state is inviting criminals to return in the state”, among others.
Addressing MTUN members shortly after the protest, National Vice President of MTUN, Chief John Onedibe, warned that they would resist any such plan, arguing that most of their members would be thrown out of jobs.
Onedibe said he summoned an emergency meeting of the union executive over the issue in Awka and warned that any attempt by the state government to ban Okada would not only bring about labour crisis but also inflict pains on many families and economy of the state.
He said: “If over 10,000 Okada riders in Anambra would be pushed out of job, the increase in crime, would be better imagined than experienced, let alone hardship the dependants of Okada riders will face.”