Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
No fewer than seven Okada riders (public transport motorcyclists) have been arrested for violating the interstate travel restriction order of the Gombe State Government. Daily Sun gathered from Hassan Ahmad, the Chairman of Gombe State chapter of National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (NACTOMORAS), that the riders arrested were those suspected to price gouged their passengers, charging them N5000 to N7000 for interstate trips between Gombe and Kano States.
He said the Riders Association members were warned to desist from such acts which violate the travel ban of both governments of Gombe and Kano.
“Even if not for the coronavirus, you don’t – if the passenger carried has plans to kill and take away your motorcycle. But they turned deaf ears, saying they will not stop the trip of about 380 kilometres, hence they were reported to and arrested by the police.”
The chairman who went on to explain how members of the association are being sensitised on measures announced the state government to prevent or slow down the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, complained that the association was not being carried along by the Government’s Special Task Force on COVID-19.
He said it is unacceptable that the association of about 45,000 membership in the state is not considered important enough in the effort to curtail the spread of the virus.
“We have not had direct contact with the task force, we don’t know them. All that we have done is on our own. We are presently writing to our units at border communities to warn them against the dangerous act of conveying in and out of the state through bush-part,” Hassan told newsmen on Tuesday in Gombe.
He added that measures have been put in place by the association to monitor the activities of member riders and a stiff penalty will be meted on operators who violate government directives.