By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—ANAMBRA State government has directed commercial motorcycle operators in Awka and Onitsha to withdraw their services by July 1 this year, even as the state government said yesterday that the ban was in the best interest of the state and the people.
The state government had on Tuesday, issued a quit notice to the Okada riders in the two major cities and urged them to change to another trade or vacate the cities for good.
Chief Press secretary to Governor Willie Obiano, Mr. James Eze, said the directive, which was one of the resolutions from the weekly State executive council meeting, was part of the overall strategy adopted by the government to deepen its crackdown on crime and restore sanity to Onitsha and Awka.
Also in an interview yesterday, the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Chief C. Don Adinuba said the state government would evolve measures to assist the Okada riders to upgrade their business through the purchase of shuttle buses, assuring that it was not the intention of government to inflict hardship on anybody.
But speaking in Awka yesterday, the Awka South zonal leader of Commercial Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria, Mr. Kingsley Nworah, expressed displeasure over the government’s decision, saying they were taken unawares by the planned ban.