Delta Monarch Faults Uduaghan Over Okada Ban


…It's a slap on traditional institutions, residents, says Obi Efeizomor

BEVERLY HILLS, October 07, (THEWILL) - The traditional ruler of Owa Kingdom, Owa-Oyibu in Ika North Local Government Area of Delta state, HRM Dr. Emmanuel Efeizomor II (JP), has faulted Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan over the recent ban on commercial motorcycle operators, popularly known as Okada in Agbor metropolis.

The monarch said the governor carried over the implementation of the ban without any regard for the tradition institution, stressing that the ban was a slap on the integrity of the traditional rulers in the area.

The implementation of the ban which led to the destruction of hundreds of Okada has triggered a protest in Agbor, a development which had prompted the press briefing held at the palace of the monarch on Monday.

This followed the enforcement of the ban in the metropolis by the Task Force constituted by the state Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Ben Igbakpa.

Addressing newsmen, the monarch said that Governor Uduaghan had disrespected the traditional rulers in the area by not calling them to a town hall meeting over the proposed ban before enforcing the ban which is already causing the people hard times.

'Why did the government not call a town hall meeting or call on the motorcycle operators to find a lasting solution to the alleged crime committed if it is because of crime that made the government ban motorcycle operation?' he asked.

Obi Efeizomor who was flanked at the media briefing by the mother of Nduka Obaigbena, THISDAY Newspaper publisher, Dame Margret Obaigbena, also queried, 'how many of the children of those persons who banned Okada business are in Okada business?'

He said 'let the government establish industries/factories for the teeming youths as well rehabilitate the roads and streets in the two Ika Local Government Areas before banning Okada.'

According to the monarch, the ban on commercial motorcycle (Okada) business should not have been Uduaghan's priority for the people, saying the state government should have done something about the state of the poor roads in area and thereafter call a town hall meeting where Okada riders would be present, to find solution for the growing crime rate in the areas.

Obi Efeizomor queried the yardstick the state government used to indicate that crime is growing in Ika nation than any other ethnic nationality, asking whether the ban on Okada was part of the manifestoes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him, with the ban in the areas, more than 4,000 jobless youths surviving on Okada (motorcycle) operations have been callously thrown out of business, which, he said, enabled them to feed their immediate families and dependants.

The monarch however called on elected political representatives of Ika Nation at the State and National Assemblies to take seriously the ban on motorcycle (Okada) business in the two Ika Local Government Areas of the state as a direct challenge on them to pressurise the state government to lift the ban for the relief of the worsening situation forced down on the rural populace.

He wondered why the representatives of the people of Ika nation at the State and National Assemblies did not raise the voice of discontent and rejection when the ban was being handed down on the masses who, he said, constitute the electorate in the election year.

Besides, Obi Efeizomor bemoaned the ugly situation where the Task Force had to go into shops and people's premises to carry motorcycles simply because Okada operation is banned.

Also, the Chairman of the motorcycle dealers at Abraka road, Boji-Boji Owa in the area and the Motorcycle Mechanics Association have lamented that more than 78 motorcycle dealers have been thrown out of business.

The motorcycle dealers chairman further lamented that billions of naira invested on the motorcycle business would go down the drains if the ban was not lifted.

Meanwhile, many pupils and teachers have been finding it difficult to reach their schools as civil servants, market women and farmers trek many kilometres before getting to their schools, offices and farms as a result of the ban.