Metro

September 28, 2023

FCTA to arrest okada passengers, crushes 478

FCTA to arrest okada passengers, crushes 478 bikes

Some of the impounded okada.

By Omeiza Ajayi & Treasure Ayegba

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has said it was considering arresting and prosecuting commercial motorcycle (Okada) passengers, saying without demand there would be no supply.

Meanwhile, a joint task force of FCTA has crushed about 478 motorcycles impounded for operating along restricted areas in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and feeder satellite towns.

The operation, which lasted two weeks, saw security personnel drawn from the Police; Department of State Services, DSS; the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC; Directorate of Road Traffic Services, DRTS, and personnel of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, AEPB, impounding motorcycles operating in the FCT, Lugbe and Kubwa.

Thursday’s exercise, which started from the popular Car Wash Bus Stop in Lugbe, swept through Gosa, Bill Clinton Drive, Trademore Estate, Lugbe Junction as well as Kubwa and environs.

Speaking after the operations, Director, DRTS, Abdulateef Bello, encouraged residents to walk short distances for their safety and health.

“For safety and security reasons, people should always make sure that they avoid plying motorcycles within the FCC because as the situation is, we might be arresting people that are equally plying motorcycles,” he said.

On why the operation was extended to satellite towns including Kubwa, Bello said: “We have consistently maintained that commercial motorcycles are not allowed in the Federal Capital City.

“But, of course, apart from the city centre, our highways are equally not encouraged for commercial motorcycles to ply because of safety and security reasons. This is why we have extended our operations beyond the FCC to other Area Councils that actually feed the city centre.”

He advised those investing in commercial motorcycle operations to have a rethink as the administration will also invest heavy resources to counter them.

He said the FCTA will deepen its operation right into the night because, “the number of motorcycles operating in the FCC is extremely outrageous. Impounding 200, 300, or 400 on a weekly basis will not address the need.

“What we are doing now is to intensify our operations with other security agencies to enable us move deeper into this operation by working in the night and removing them based on intelligence on their whereabouts.”

Earlier, the Secretary Transportation Secretariat, Nya Ubokutom, warned commercial motorcyclists to strictly limit their operations to designated areas.

He explained that the Administration’s desire to develop a smart city devoid of all sorts of pollution cannot be achieved if illegalities such as Okada are allowed to pervade the FCTA.

Ubokutom said: “We are here to carry out what has been adjudicated for and approved by the law.

“Our mandate is to deliver a smart city and we are poised to deliver on that mandate of making Abuja a smart city, clean in air quality and safe for habitation and transportation and also make it affordable.

“But we cannot allow residents take laws into their hands.

“There are areas designated for different kinds of vehicles. Motorcycles are designated to the outskirts in the area councils.

“So we encourage operators to respect that because if you cross that line the full wrath of the law will be visited on violated,” he stated.

Vanguard News