The complete ban of Okada in Abuja, a big mistake.

Filed under: National Issues |

Bad news they say often travels fast, like wide fire. But something got me wondering why this particular news(the complete ban on Okada in the FCT), which of course is a bad one, hasn’t entered the airways like it should ever since it was rumoured. The moment i received the news yesterday’s evening, the selected question amongst the long list of questions in my mind was, what in the world is the government smoking this time?
The truth is, a man can live a good live, be honourable, give to charity. But in the end, the number of people that comes to his funeral is generally dependent on the weather. The weather has changed. In the old days this would have been a lot easier for the government to stem without much eyebrows been raised due to what was obtainable. The public would have called them heroic names and even cheered for them. Some where along the line the press stopped being the stars of the night and starts being the dragon, by keeping quiet to this. In other countries of the world where the press very well understands the effectiveness and power of the media, issues of this kind are championed by them, but not here, not in my country Nigeria. The reverse is always the case.

Commercial motorcycle popularly known as Okada, provides one of the largest self-employed jobs as far as Nigeria is concern today. Its one form of business or employment that requires no certificate from any university whatsoever. It cares-less whether or not you can speak good English or know how to operate a computer. In fact, the ultimate criteria for this job is that you know how to ride. This, made it the most simplest, easiest and popular job anyone, i mean, anyone at all can venture into when the going gets tough.

Many months ago before they were banned from the metropolis of the Federal Capital Territory, a total of 386,129 Okadas was said to be the number of Okadas in the FCT, out of this number, a total of 275,820 Okadas on a daily basis, plunge the city insearch of their daily bread. Imagine what became of the people who formed this huge number when they were asked by the government, same government who failed to provide alternative employments for them, government who failed to provide enabling environment for a more decent and risk-free jobs and same government who failed to organise the troubled trade, to move their farming to a non-fertile land.

The kind of government that runs affairs in todays Nigeria is the kind that basically ignores whatever the plights of the people they rule are. Mostly, they prefer the option of implementing policies before making it. It’s actually not the first time the government have put the people on this lane. They have done it over and over again. Events in the country has shown that once one State, most especially the Federal Capital Territory, passes a law, sooner or later every other State in the country follow suit. What this means is that, once the government checksout Okada riders from Abuja, Governors of other States in the federation will also move to checkout theirs, making the country a more breathing hell than it already is today.

The reasons the government placed a ban on Okada in Abuja is, according to them, that they constitute nuisance and uncontrollable menace to the society; that they often cause obstruction to government motorcades during emergency appointments; that Okada is one of the most usable tools for crimes; that they cause more accident in a day than a car could possibly cause in a month. They also spoke of Okada riders replacing their Okadas with a commercial tricycle (Keke Napep).
I agree in entirety with the government on this. Sure, they are nuisance and a menace to the society. They truly and easily cause accidents due to their impatience. And, why not, they can easily exchance their trade with Kekenape and everything will just return back to normal as everyone will live happily ever after. Fantastic! But there is just one problem to all this arrangements, assuming this action of theirs don’t cause another form of social unrest and civil disobedience, what made them think that Kekenapep will be a saving grace? On what statistics are they basing their argument to state that they are uncontrollable?

I remember my brother asking that we call a spade a spade and not a big spoon, the truth is that the current crop of people who constitute the “government” are tired and incapable of thinking but yet, still get in the ways of those who can think and implement. Who deceived the government to think that this machine(Okada) constitute more nuisance or causes more menace in the society than their counterparts(cars)? Who deceived them to think that exchanging the so-called “crime tool” with Kekenapep solves the mystery? As far as am concern, all that they have listed as their reasons are in no way different from the attributes of car drivers themselves. If they are thinking government, they’d know that banning is not the ultimate solution here, what they need is organization and sensitization.

As the years past, our government become more and more propensed. Those in power, whatever their politics, wants only to perpetuate and the people are always the victims. You and i lay heavy blame on Boko Haram as well as other criminals out their, but our government are their creators. This act will create more unemployed Nigerians that anyone can ever imagine. A hungry lion would do anything in order to feed, even if it resorts to killing its own specie. I could wave it on a mistake but no, a mistake is like wearing “white” after labour day, a mistake is like invading Russia in winter, this particular fiatrics by the government, is suicidal.

Whenever an unthinkable crime occurs, we always ask the same questions, “what kind of person could do this?”. We create a profile, try to figure out what kind of crazy person would fit into such profile. But after today, i think the system will change, the question that we will begin to ask will be, “what kind of government will see things deteriorating this much, and not make positive efforts to change the status quo?”.



2 Responses to The complete ban of Okada in Abuja, a big mistake.

  1. Have u also heard that FCTA has banned the operation of commercial commuter minibuses in city centres! What is their argument for this ban? Pls tell me. We have a crop of leaders who pay tithes of mints, cunnis and anis but have omited the weightier matters of governance. I weep for my country.

    project Nigeria
    January 15, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    • Its a big shame that in this ultra-modern technologically advanced world today, individuals who call themselves leaders are incapable of properly using equipments in there arsenals to troubleshoot problems. I know of someone who couldn’t pass exams while in college, but after he left and built a company, he employed those brains that don’t just pass exams, but also are creative…it is obvious our leader’s brain cells are dead or close to dying, why can’t they get close to themselves, thinking brains, to enhance their work?

      The ban on commercial minibuses is inflicting untold pains on the people of FCTA…I hope there will be a way out of this whole insensitivity.

      Jeff Okoroafor

      Jeff Okoroafor
      January 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm