4th September, 2012
Commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as Okada riders in Badagry have been commended by security agencies.
The commendation came during a seminar to mark the 1st year anniversary of the Motorcycle Transport Union at the Badagry Town Hall.
Delivering a keynote address titled: “Commercial motorcycles, safety, security: The way forward”, the guest speaker, a representative of the State Security Service, commended the organisers of the seminar, saying; “This has gone to show that you are decent people among you as against the public belief that okada riders are irresponsible.”
He berated some of them for engaging in questionable activities that have negatively affected the image of the union. He said: “Recently, all robbery attacks that have taken place in Ajara and Badagry were by okada men.
“It is no longer news that the stories we hear that happen in distant places now happen under our very nose. It is a new trend in this part of the country where some people will be robbing and harassing poor women in their shops with guns every evening. They are so bold that they do not wear masks which means they may not have come from here.
“We want to collaborate with you to fish out the bad eggs among you out. Some of you give security information to strangers”.
Commending the union for the seminar, the Assistant Corps Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps, Badagry, S.U. Galadanci stressed the need for safe driving.
“Motorcyclists get involved more in accidents due to recklessness. Statistics has also shown that in every 10 accidents involving motorcyclists, eight are likely to die,” he said, giving some precautionary tips for a safe driving as knowing your speed limit, wearing recommended crash helmets, having functional head lamp and trafficators, avoiding over loading, using mirrors, functional brake, avoiding use of cell phones while driving, avoiding wearing flowing gowns and carrying pregnant women and petrol jerry cans.
“Some before embarking on the days job, will taking illicit gin popularly known as Awapka or Shepe, cigarette and Indian hemp. The resultant effect of this is recklessness. Most times passengers are not comfortable because of the offensive odour coming from their mouth and behaviour.” Safety, according to him, is every road user’s right.
The representative of the Divisional Police Officer of Badagry Police Station, Mr. Joseph Tariah(SP), enjoined okada riders to be law abiding, noting that so many of them use fake number plates while many are using unregistered motorbikes which makes it difficult for security agencies to track them in case of accidents or crime.
He pleaded with them to be law abiding, adding that it is the attitude of professionals that makes their profession honourable. The ceremony attracted officers from the FRSC, SSS, Army and Police, bank officials.