Oborevwori Ban Okada, Scavengers In Delta Capital Territory, Other LGAs

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The Delta State government has directed commercial motorcycle operators otherwise known as Okada Riders in the capital territory to withdraw their services by June 1 this year, even as the state government said that the ban was in the best interest of the state and the people.

The State Commissioner for Information, Dr. Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, on Thursday 23 May 2024, said the directive, which was one of the resolutions from the weekly State executive council meeting, was part of the overall strategy adopted by the government to deepen its crackdown on crime and restore sanity to the capital territory with immediate effect.

Dr. Osuoza, was flanked by the State Commissioner for Works (Rural and Riverine roads), Mr. Charles Aniagwu, Reuben Izeze, (Urban and High Ways), Dr. Kingsley Emu, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Festus Ahon, Chief Press Secretary, to the governor, Prof. Tonukari Johnbull, Higher Education and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ekemejero Ohwovoriole (SAN).

Speaking on the ban on Okada and the activities of scavengers, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kingsley Emu, said the ban, which was necessitated by the preponderance of crime being committed with Okada and the frequently reported cases of vandalism of public facilities by the scavengers, would take effect tomorrow (Friday), though strict enforcement would commence June 1, 2024.

The SSG clarified that the ban implied that no ‘iron condemn’ cart pusher would operate in any part of the State Capital Territory after May 31, 2024, adding that commercial motorcycle operations had also been prohibited in some parts of the Capital Territory not covered by earlier ban.

He said adequate sensitization campaign would be mounted before the commencement of enforcement, pointing out that the ban was not targeted at any particular tribe, but in the interest of peace and security.

The SSG said: “the biggest news on traffic regulations is the ban or prohibition of commercial motorcycle, popularly known as Okada, effective tomorrow. All OKada riders in Delta State capital territory area, all the streets, are banned forthwith.

“If you are caught, we will confiscate and destroy the okada as well as other massive sanctions in terms of fines and a possible jail term.

“This decision has become imperative arising from the huge security challenges that we have. Our people are openly violated, families are raped and the people who commit these crimes easily run away on Okada.

“In Delta Capital Territory Development area, it’s total and outright ban in all the areas. It is important that we do this to protect the lives and property of people.

“We understand that there are some few innocent people but the preponderance of crime being perpetrated with Okada has necessitated this decision. It has been a major issue at the security council meeting severally and, thereafter, Exco concluded today.

“There are also other designated streets in Ethiope East, Ika North East, Oshimili North and South, Sapele, Uwvie and Warri South Local Government Areas. These regulations are being enforced since 2012, 2013, 2014, with improvements on them. But it has never been operational.

“All these regulations came at the peak of security challenges. When it was a little bit under control, it was relaxed and there was no strong sanctions to deter people. It has now become imperative that it must be enforced.

“We are going to give up till 31st of May for people to adjust and comply. Effective June 1st, all the security agencies will be engaged to enforce compliance. We will crush all the seized Okadas in the public place.

“Oshimili North and South have also, in their respective By-laws, banned ‘iron condemn’ or scrap metal scavenging. Effective tomorrow, we expect them to wind down their activities and as from on the 1st of June, enforcement will start.

“We do know the type of havoc these people have brought to the system, how our transformer cables have been vandalized and even assets in our private homes.

“We can not fold our hands as a state. Laws are always made in the interest of the larger population. We will give enough notice to them. We will publicize all the streets involved,” Emu added.

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