The announcement of the ban was announced on Saturday by the state commissioner for transport, Mr Uchenna Okafor, who disclosed that the measure was to enable it to enforce the ban on motorcycle operators in these areas.
In a chat with Punch, he said;
“The ban on motorcycle operators is total. There will be no exceptions. We’ve met with the police and army authorities, and made it clear that their personnel won’t be allowed to ride motorcycles in the areas affected by the ban
“We are not exempting anybody. It’s total and comprehensive. By July 1, no Okada will be seen in any road in Awka and Onitsha areas. It’s total.
According to the Commissioner, the ban on motorcycle operators in the state will make “1000 thieves” lose their jobs.
He said, “It is not in doubt that some of these Okada operators are criminals. They are the people snatching bags from women and students. With this ban, over 1000 thieves will leave the state because they have lost their jobs.
He added that the governor had ordered no fewer than 1000 shuttle buses from Japan, to cushion the effect of the ban on ” genuine motorcycle operators” in Awka and Onitsha. Okafor said the buses were being expected in the state any time soon.
He said ”The buses were ordered from Japan and would soon arrive the state at the cost of about N700,000 each.”
The ban on motorcycles however left delears of motorcycle spare parts in Nnewi, Anambra state lamenting over the setback their business would suffer. The traders also begged Governor Willie Obiano to rescind his ban on Okada riders in the state which comes into force on July 1, as had been previously announced by the state government.
The traders begged the governor to revoke the decision in the interest of all, saying that the ban would also stifle businesses in the state, and cause a loll in economic activities.