The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has said that the July 1 deadline for the ban on commercial motorcycle operators, popularly known as Okada in Onitsha and Awka, is not negotiable.
Obiano said the ban stands and that there is no going back on the directive.
The governor had in May, this year, declared a ban on motorcycle operators, causing mixed reactions over the number of persons that would lose their jobs.
Obiano, who was speaking during the 2018 Annual Seminar of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council in Awka, explained that the ban would be for commercial motorcyclists in Onitsha and Awka and their neighbouring towns.
He revealed that the state government was making alternative arrangements to provide more shuttle buses to cover as many routes as possible, while calling on transporters to take advantage of the opportunity and invest in deploying shuttles and tricycles to complement government’s efforts.
“The state government has designed a hire purchase arrangement where the motorcycle operators will be provided tricycles and shuttles and they pay in installments over a period of time in consideration to the plight of Ndi Anambra who may be affected by the ban,” he said.
He reiterated that the ban is solely in the best interest of the citizens and residents of the state, and that it would also help government decisively address cases of motorbike robbery in many parts of the state which has been on the increase in recent times.
According to him, the state government, by August 1, this year, would vacate the shanties located opposite the Onitsha prison as a result of the series of crimes reportedly perpetrated there.
In his remarks, Chairman of the state Traditional Rulers Council and traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, said the monarchs have a role to hold their communities in the line of development, peace and security, to make the job of governance less cumbersome for the government.