By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than one hundred and seven commercial motorcycles were confiscated yesterday by FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) otherwise known as Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), for allegedly constituting nuisance in the nation’s capital city centre.
DRTS officials in a joint operation with FCTA Command and Control Taskteam on city Sanitation, which lasted for hours raided operators of commercial motorcycles otherwise called Okada riders at various hotspots within the city.
Our correspondent reports that the enforcement team kicked off the exercise from the Federal Secretariat down to Area 1, Area 2, Apo Bridge, Apo Roundabout, Guzape, Asokoro, and back to Gudu, Lokogoma and Galadimawa respectively.
Speaking after the exercise, Director of DRTS, Wadata Aliyu Bodinga, explained that the exercise is a joint operation aimed at riding the city of the menace of commercial motorcycles otherwise known as Okada riders and their operations within the city centre.
Bodinga reiterated that okada has been banned in terms of operating in the city since 2005, but the operators are recalcitrant as they keep coming into the city causing all sort of nuisance, and that is not acceptable to the FCT Administration.
“Almost all the nook and crannies of the city centre have been torched, to ensure that we send the message direct to these people. They should leave the city centre and go back to those areas, where they are allowed to operate.
“So far we have caught over one hundred and seven motorcycles, and still counting, as it’s just first part of the today’s operation, and the second part is ongoing now in Kubwa.
“We are looking at two hundred and fifty motorcycles because of the way the operation has gone so far, but we will continue until the order is maintained.
“It’s massive, because every other agency has contributed to ensure that it’s sustainable, and our officers will be on ground in order to sustain the tempo of this kind of massive operation, probably weekly or monthly depending on the exigencies that will come up and availablity of time and other activities in the city”, he stated.
The Director, however noted that destruction of the confiscated motorcycles will come after certain legal procedure is carried out.
“Of course, we are going for forfeiture order from the court of law, which is the right thing to do. Thereafter, government will take appropriate decision on what to do
“But, we are appealing to Okada operators to please leave the city, because if they do that on their own, they will be saving our energy and theirs too, so they should go to areas where they are allowed to operate.
“ Leave the city centre, because we are not going to relent as we are going to keep going after them, to ensure that commercial motorcycles are flushed out of the city”, the DRTS boss stressed.