From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Chairman of Motorcycle Transport Union (MUTN), Nnewi branch, Chief Benneth Nwosu, yesterday, absolved his members of allegation of being involve in the resurgence of criminal activities in the industrial community.
The Nnewi Okada chairman reacted to allegation that bag snatchers who reportedly use high capacity motorcycles had been operating in Nnewi, a situation that was said to have led to commercial motorcycle ban in Onitsha and Awka by the state government.
He said that all Okada riders on the record of his union have their names in official files kept at the union’s office in Nnewi in addition to identity cards issued to every registered member of the union.
Chief Nwosu noted that a hoodlum could use a high capacity motorcycle to rob but that it would not translate to tagging the hoodlum as okada rider. He explained that the union had been using its task force to checkmate the infiltration of unregistered operators.
He, however, blamed the Anambra State Government for its inability to fulfill a promise made to provide special vests to all Okada operators in the industrial community for easy and proper identification of genuine commercial motorcyclists.
On why the ban on commercial motocycle operators should not be extended to Nnewi, Chief Nwosu said it would be suicidal to contemplate the ban in Nnewi “which is the home of motorcycle business in the whole of West Africa.”
He insisted that any policy made to ban commercial motorcycle operation sin Nnewi would fail on arrival. According to him, for such a policy to survive, government would provide alternative business line for numerous motorcycles and spare parts importers in Nnewi, provide for thousands of other traders who deal in that line of business at Nkwo Nnewi, vulcanizers, food vendors and a whole lot of others who depended on motorcycle business for survival.