Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State government has banned the operation of commercial motorcyclists, otherwise known as Okada riders along Benin-Ore express road in Odigbo Local Government Area of the state.
The state commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo disclosed this in a statement issued in Akure on Thursday.
He said the State Executive Council has approved the ban, with a view to ensuring safety of lives of people living in the area including passengers plying the road.
He said, “Government has observed with serious concern, the activities of some unscrupulous elements who have hidden under the guise of engaging in motorcycle business, popularly known as Okada, to perpetrate crime on
the Ofosu-Ajeba-midele route along the Benin-Ore expressway.
“Disturbed by the activities of these criminal elements which include armed robbery, kidnapping, their mode of operations as well as the heightening cases of loss of lives, the Ondo State Government has placed a total ban on
commercial motorcycles (Okada) along the entire stretch of the route in question.
“This action is with immediate effect and shall suffice until further notice.
“By this development, all activities of commercial motorcyclists are henceforth, restricted to internal confines of Ore town and other communities in the area.
“Security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, are consequently directed to apprehend forthwith, anyone who flouts this restriction order,” Ojogo added.
He appealed to residents of the area and travellers to co-operate with security agencies in the enforcement of the order, which he said was aimed at stemming the growing rate of criminal activities in the area.
Recalled that the daughter of Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Mrs Funke Olakunrin was allegedly killed by Fulani herdsmen on the road. Also, many other heinous crimes, especially robbery, killing and kidnapping were perpetrated on the road.