The Commissioner of Police (CP) in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Ciroma, has warned that men of his command would begin the arrest of okada riders for operating in restricted areas of Abuja.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, the CP reiterated that there has been a ministerial directive banning okada riders from plying in some areas of the FCT. He, however, wondered why the okada riders deliberately disobey the order.
“At this juncture, I want to send a stern warning to commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada riders, that the Command will commence the vigorous enforcement of the Ministerial ban that restricts motorcycle operations to satellite towns.
“I also want to reiterate that the ministerial directive also bans the operation of motorcycles in the Federal Capital City (FCC) and all Expressways and Highways in the Federal Capital Territory.
“This reminder is coming at the wake of recent observation made by the Command that despite the subsisting ministerial directive, okada riders still flagrantly extend their operations to the expressways and highways, especially around Lugbe, Kubwa, Deidei, Karu, Nyanya axis,” the CP said.
He further lamented that most of the okada riders do not only operate in restricted areas, they also flagrantly disobey traffic rules, thereby causing avoidable accidents.
According to Ciroma: “They are also notorious for mobbing and attacking other motorists with dangerous weapons.
“I, therefore, want to unequivocally state that, henceforth, the Command will not tolerate such an act of lawlessness. “Those arrested in the process will be dealt with in accordance with the laws.”
Reacting to the recent violent riot in Dutse market, the CP said: “Furthermore, the Command has commenced investigation into the violent riot that led to the recent closure of Dutse market.
“The 4 suspects arrested in connection with the unfortunate incident are currently under investigation and will be arraigned in court upon the conclusion of investigation.
“It is therefore important to inform you that among the suspects to be paraded today are: two suspects arrested at Lugbe Zone 9 for assaulting some police personnel while responding to a distress call; three armed robbery suspects who robbed and killed a pregnant woman at Damakasa in Apo; three okada riders who alongside others now at large almost lynched a motorist at an accident scene; twelve suspects arrested for cult activities around Zuba; seven okada riders arrested in connection with the murder of an alleged motorcycle thief in Dutse Makaranta, among other cases.
“The exhibits recovered include: two locally made pistols, two pump action, nine live cartridges, one dagger, four motorcycles, television sets, etc”