From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Chairman of Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria (MUTN), Anambra State chapter, Mr Jude Udegbe, yesterday, said the union had come up with security measures to assist security agencies in the face of rising insecurity in the South East region.
Mr Udegbe made this known to Daily Sun when he was answering questions on the rumour that Fulanis had flooded Anambra major towns especially Nnewi disguising themselves as okada riders who allegedly hid arms in their motorcycles seats.
He disclosed that the union has set up a rigorous process for admission of new members which he claimed enabled the leadership to dictate genuine okada riders, their places of origin and other necessary information about a new entrant. Udegbe said apart from that the union had some language experts who would be able to dictate those from any part of the country, a system he said had been replicated in all the union offices across the State.
“The rumour that Fulanis have come in their numbers in Nnewi and other parts of the State as okada riders with ulterior motive is false. Fulanis have their main business as cattle rearing. They basically don’t do okada business. The people who do okada business here with us are those from Kogi, Adamawa, Plateau and those from the South South.
“For you to be an okada rider in Nnewi now or any other place where okada is allowed in the State, you must produce two sureties both from your place of origin and non-indigene who could stand for you. You must fill our forms and be issued with an identity card which our taskforce members check on the roads from time to time. We take adequate measures to properly identify those who come into the business, ” Mr Udegbe said.
He warned those he said used private motorcycles and later turn to okada riders on the roads to desist from the practice. He identified such people as those who dent the image of okada riders in the State. He noted that the okada taskforce had been empowered to conduct stop-and-search on the operators at random to fish out criminals who were operating in the guise of okada riders.
Mr Udegbe explained that the union had come up with other security measures which details he said he would not disclose. He said that as far as okada business was concerned, there would be no security lapses, that the union would continue to evolve strategies to safeguard Anambra State.