The Oyo State government has again proved its commitment to strengthening the security architecture of the state by capturing over 5,000 database of motorcycle operators, popularly known as ‘Okada riders’ in the state.
It would be recalled that some concerned residents and even journalists have in recent times, called on the government to check the influx of more bike men into the state.
In a swift response, the Gov. ‘Seyi Makinde led-administration has commence registration for all motorcyclists in the state, issuing a strong directive that anyone who refuses to register risks arrest and prosecution.
The registration, which is aimed to control the massive influx of commercial motorcycle riders, includes biometric data capturing for all operators, and their owners in the state.
This disclosure was made by the Executive Assistant to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde on Administration and General Services, Reverend Idowu Ogedengbe, while featuring on the interview platform — Guests’ Forum, of the Oyo State Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), held at the chapel’s secretariat, Mokola, Ibadan.
“Already, more than 5,000 among them have been captured into the database of the state, and the registration is still ongoing. The registration followed the ban of many okada riders in Lagos State and the influx of the displaced commercial motorcyclists to the state, coupled with the fact that the state police command has paraded on different occasions, some okada riders, using the means of transportation to commit a crime”, Ogedengbe stated.
He also warned that any commercial motorcycle rider that failed to register, would face the wrath of the law as the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) has been directed to apprehend those that have refused to register.
He added that the first thing every commercial motorcyclist must do before starting operation in the state is to get registered.
The registration, according to him, would assist the government to track down those that may be using the means of transportation to commit criminal offences.
According to him, “The Ministry of Works and Public Transport is working in consonance with the Management Information Centre of the Oyo State government, to embark on a programme of registering and regulating all okada riders in Oyo State.
“If you are using your Okada for commercial business, we want to have your details in our database. We will capture the chassis and number of that okada. We will get the phone number and pictures of that Okada owner, and even that of the rider.
“If any of them commits any offence or crime, we will be able to track them down. We are also concluding plans to kit them up with jackets. We have already given out the first contract and a total of 5,000 okada riders are already captured on that database.
“According to our governor, we are a government that depends on data, science and logic. We don’t just want to make a decision without first critically examining it, looking at it empirically.
“We all know that the okada business is a means of livelihood for some of our people. If we ban it outright, it will affect a lot of household income.
“What we want to achieve with this is to reduce the security threat that those people riding on motorcycles could bring upon our state. We don’t want to do it in a way that we will impinge on the rights of any law-abiding okada rider, going about with his means of livelihood.
“Just like it happened in the United States of America recently where commercial motorcycles were crushed for violating the state laws, we shall also get there if it is established that any of the okada riders in this state violates our state laws. Any criminal elements among them shall be purged.
“So, if you are coming to Oyo State and you don’t have our registration, it is an immediate pointer that OYRTMA will spot you and arrest you because they would have known that you are not meant to be here. With that, before you even commit the crime, we have arrested you. We are going to pursue that aggressively”, he added.