2023: NSCDC to train INEC officials on security during election 2023: NSCDC to train INEC officials on security during election Election By Muftau Ogunyemi Akure, Aug. 18, 2023 The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ondo State Command, says it will train election officials on necessary security measures to take during elections.
Dr Hammed Abodunrin, the NSCDC Commandant, said when he paid a courtesy visit on the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ondo state, Dr Rufus Akeju, on Thursday in Akure.
Abodunrin said it was the responsibility of the corps and other security agencies to ensure security during elections He, however, said other stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must also work in tune with the security agencies.
The commandant said it was important for all stakeholders to ensure safe, free, fair and secure election where people would not be afraid to come out to vote.
“If INEC staff are not secured or feel threatened, they won’t be able to conduct a proper election, not necessarily that they want to get anything, but because they have to also secure their lives.
“This is the only way we can partner with INEC through the training of their staff on personal security.
“Because if there is a competition, somebody is bound to win and somebody will also lose while somebody could be aggrieved, because they don’t know how to play the game according to the rules.
“So, instead of INEC officers to become victims in the course of their duty, we can always upscale their skills in the way they can protect themselves.
“INEC officials’ personal security is very important to us and we are going to train them on how to get appropriate information and how to also secure themselves either at work or at home,,” he said.
Abodunrin added that the command would also sensitise the officials on how to do away with objects that could trigger issues during elections.
“Virtually all the objects we are using in our homes and offices have now become symbols of political parties, such as brooms and umbrellas.
“If we see electoral officers using a broom to sweep the polling booth or carry an umbrella during the rain, people could mistake it for a kind of campaign for a particular political party.
“From our experience, we have seen where people react to such things during an election.
“Meanwhile, all the objects have an alternative; a sweeping stick could be use instead of a broom and a rain coat could replace an umbrella,” he said.
Abodunrin commended INEC on the recent elections in Ekiti and Osun states, saying the two elections portend a lot of hope for the country.
The NSCDC commandant called on politicians to play the game according to the rules and shun any action that would jeopardise the 2023 general election.
“Our security operatives have to be observant and not only to say they are objective, but they must be seen to be objective.
Electorates should calm down and believe that their votes will count,” he said.
Responding, the REC appreciated the NSCDC for their demonstration of love and commitment to the consolidation and deepening of democracy in Nigeria.
Akeju assured the readiness of INEC to conduct free, fair, credible, generally acceptable and inclusive election in line with international best practices.
He appealed to the NSCDC to complement the commission’s efforts towards building a democratic culture in the country.
“Your visit today is timely as you are aware that the commission is preparing for the 2023 general election; the training will be for the betterment of officers and the commission at large,” Akeju said.
NAN) The Federal Government has begun plans for a special intervention to make land transportation more seamless for Nigerians, says the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, the Special Assistant on Media to the minister, on Wednesday in Akure.
According to the minister, President Muhammadu Buhari has already approved the proposed special scheme for mass transit to be driven by transport operators for ease of transportation across the country.
Adegoroye disclosed this while hosting a delegation of the Abuja Zonal Office of Zenith Bank in his office in Abuja.
The minister, who said details of the intervention were being perfected by the committee set up by the ministry, urged the management of the bank to partner with the Federal Government on the implementation of the scheme.
“The President is greatly interested in this special scheme and he has given us the green light to proceed and we are already engaging transport operators and other stakeholders to put finishing touches to it.
“This attests to Mr President’s genuine care for Nigerians.
He said in line with the president’s, directive, details were being worked out with the relevant stakeholders so that the scheme would touch every part of the country and make land transportation experience better for Nigerians.
The minister, who appreciated the bank officials for the visit, urged them to continue to partner with the ministry and contribute their quota to President Buhari’s ongoing transportation revolution.
Earlier, Mr Aburime Ehimare, the Assistant General Manager of the bank, Abuja Zonal Office, said the it had always been a partner with the ministry.
Ehimare added that the visit was to further cement the working relationship that had existed between the ministry and the bank for many years.
He congratulated Adegoroye on his appointment as minister, describing him as a man with a history of performance and assured him of the support of the management and staff of the bank in the operations of the ministry.
He said as partners, the bank would continue to explore more ways of adding value to the projects, policies and programmes of the Federal Government on transportation.
The Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has warned Ebiras living in the state to flush out the criminals among them.
The warning is contained in a press statement issued on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, and made available to newsmen in Akure.
Akeredolu, who said that the Ebira people had lived together with the indigenes of the state for a very long time, implored them not to deviate from their farming trade.
The governor urged them to join hands with the government to rid the state of criminality.
The statement said the governor spoke at a closed door meeting with the leaders of the Ebira community.
Akeredolu said the meeting was summoned in the light of the June 5 church massacre in Owo and other kidnapping cases in the state.
He disclosed that the leaders of the Ebira community have been urged to get rid of criminals in their fold, to protect their names and integrity.
“We summoned this meeting with our brothers.
They are not new here but because of the recent developments that have to do with the Owo massacre and kidnappings, we have to call ourselves.
“I can assure you all that we have had very frank discussion and the leader of the Ebiras in Ondo State spoke on behalf of his people.
“We leave here today with the belief that our brothers, Ebira that are here would at the least work to ensure that there is security in Ondo State and in doing that we have charged them to discus with all their people.
“They have assured us they would do that and we want to call on our people that at least let us continue with our brotherliness and maintain the good relationship we have had with them in the past.
“We believe that it is not those who are residing here that came to perpetrate this crime.
That is what they have said and we should give them another chance.
“Let us live together in peace and I hope and pray that the Ebiras who are here in Ondo State will work with the government and security agencies to make sure that criminals are flushed out within our midst,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the delegation of Ebira leaders was led by Mr Odeyani Anabira.
The Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa and security chiefs in the state were also at the meeting.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, said the Araromi Seaside in Igbokoda, Ilaje Local Government area (LGA) would attract global attention to the state as a tourist centre.
Akeredolu, who said this on Friday in Akure, noted that the government had concluded arrangements to declare the Seaside a Tourism Zone.He said that the huge potentials of the State in tourism would no longer be left untapped, adding that the declaration would attract global attention to the state.
Akeredolu said that the development would be in partnership with La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort Ltd.He said that it would replicate the success stories of Tourism, particularly in Dubai, in the Sunshine State.
“We have reached an agreement to declare our waterfronts or shores, where we have a lot of advantage in the country, a Tourism zone,” he said.
Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, Chairman, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort Ltd., said that the declaration would create jobs and drive revenue generation in the state.
Akinboboye said the declaration would provide a platform for the present and future generation to enjoy tourism to the fullest.
He said the natural tourist endowment of Sunshine State would be explored for the benefits of not only Nigerians, but the global community for the economic prosperity of the state.
“I am sure you are aware that there is 840 Kilometres of beachfront in Nigeria across six states in which Ondo state has the longest with almost 200 kilometers of it.
“The entire Dubai has a total of 70 kilometers of beachfront; they welcome over 15.9 million visitors every year.
“Just imagine if they spend a thousand dollars, multiply by 15.9 million people, that is what Mr Governor wants to replicate, to bring the entire world here,” he said.
Akinboboye said it would attract huge employment opportunities, adding that the state had several attractions of acquatic zone.
“We have the richest ocean because of limited operations of trollers, so our sea is extremely rich with different species of fish, prawns and the entire tourism activity that we believe very strongly will not only attract just Nigerians, but Africans in Diaspora.
“A declaration like this will attract the world to that area for business opportunities.
With this declaration, we in the state would have built a homogenous platform for tommorow’s people.
“The platform we are standing on today was built by yesterday’s people.
Mr Governor has begun the process of the platform for tomorrow’s people,” he said.
A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State, Mr Femi Adekanmbi, has lauded the appointment of Mr. James Abiodun Faleke as Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council.
In a statement issued in Akure on Friday, Adekanmbi described the appointment as an affirmation of Faleke’s personality, alluring and charismatic figure with great appeal to members of the party and public.
“Faleke is an epitome of commitment and loyalty to the progressive ideals which the party stands for.
“His deep work ethics, sense of commitment with his wealth of experience to oversee all ramifications of the campaign for the party will ensure the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Sen. Kashim Shettima come 2023,’’ Adekanmbi noted.
According to him, Faleke has what it takes to work out strategies that will lead the party’s to victory.
“My brother, Hon. Faleke has all it takes to lead our party to victory.
The council will leverage on his intellectual prowess to lead us to a resounding victory by February.
“I have worked closely with him and I can attest to his sterling qualities.
“We both worked closely in 2012 during Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu’s campaign in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, and in the build up to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s Presidential primaries.
“Faleke is a jolly good fellow and a core loyalist of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
I wish him well in his new assignment,” Adekanmbi said.
He added that Tinubu was the man to beat in the presidential election, saying that Tinubu was destined to dance on the stage of history, describing him as a strong man among men.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ondo State Command, has called on the public to give more intelligence information to security agencies and the corps, to tackle insecurity on highways.
Mr Ezekiel SonAllah, state Sector Commander, FRSC, made the call at the third quarter 2022 Sector Intelligence Operatives Retreat in Akure on Friday.
The theme of the retreat is; “Improve Intelligence Gathering to Enhance Road Safety Partnership for Innovation Intervention”.
SonAllah said that It behold on officers to be professional in discharge of their duties and improve on more information gathering to save lives on highways.
He noted that the retreat was organised for the Unit Intelligence Officers (UIO) and their assistants in all unit command in the state.
”The retreat is to update the knowledge of UIO for better performance.
There is need for UIO in all the commands to re-strategise and synergise with other security agencies to get intelligence information.
There is no agency that can do it alone.
“If that is done, I think we are on our way towards solving the problem of insecurity in the country, because in the course of our work we are always on the highway.
“And all criminals use either motorcycle or vehicles to perpetrate all manner of crimes.
“So, if our intelligence officers do the needful, relate and cooperate with other sister agencies, I am sure we will be able to ascertain the movement of persons,” he said.
The sector commander said that criminals were using highway to commit crime and road safety officials are always on highways to protect peoples’ live.
He further said that the corps marshal gave a marching order and made it mandatory that all motorcycle should be registered.
According to him, if the motorcycles are registered in the FRSC database, it can be tracked with ease.
“Security and safety are everybody business, we need to cooperate to ensure development of the country and we can discuss growth if there is peace,” he said.
Mr Peter Ameh, Acting Zonal Intelligence Officer, Osogbo, charged the operatives to enhance intelligence gathering for better service delivery.
Ameh, represented by Mr Olarewaju Bello, said that everybody in the society should see themselves as stakeholders in the issue of security, adding that when certain things happen it affect everybody.
“As we all know in our country today, we have security challenges which is not peculiar to any state.
“So, security issues is not about uniform personnel alone, whether FRSC, DSS, Army, Navy or Police; everybody has a role to play including clergymen and media for betterment of our country,”he said.
Also, Mr Oluwaseye Ajibade, Sector Intelligence Officer, Ondo state Command, said that the theme was chosen to widen the knowledge of operatives in the discharge of their duties and also place corps in the right perspective during difficult situation.
Ajibade said that the retreat would help personnel to be security conscious and synergise more with other sister agencies in fighting insecurity.
He added that it would foster unity and robust relationship among sister agencies for optimal productivity.
The Ondo State Internal Revenue Service(ODIRS) on Thursday sealed seven business premises over alleged defaulting in payment of Land Use Charge.
The state revenue agency said it was acting in compliance with court orders.
The Deputy Head of Legal Department of ODIRS, Gregory Afuwape, told newsmen that the affected companies were in Akure South and Idanre Local Government areas of the state.
“The owners are aware of the court order because every statutory notice were served on them and some of them have not paid their Land Use Charge since 2017,” he said.
He advised defaulters, who their business premises were locked, to visit the ODIRS headquarters in Akure to pay their taxes.
He reiterated that the affected properties would remain sealed until the payment of their liabilities.
“Anyone found to have opened the premises after it has been sealed will be arrested by our monitoring team and charged for contempt of court,” he warned.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the sealed companies include; shopping malls, filling stations and sawmills.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, has urged the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to expedite action on the commencement of the reconstruction of the Ekiti Road.Adegoroye, on a visit to Fashola in his office in Abuja, said the people of Ondo and Ekiti States had continued to experience too much pain on the bad road and therefore needed a respite.
This was stated in a statement by Mr Ebenezer Adeniyan, the Special Assistant on Media to Adegoroye on Monday in Akure.
Fashola had disclosed in a recent interview that lack of funds had delayed the mobilisation of the contractor to the site of the project.
However, Adegoroye, who was making his second visit to the works minister in one month, said the poor state of the road necessitated an urgent action from the federal government.
He told Fashola that his people would not let him rest at home until work began on the road, promising to keep visiting the minister once every week until the project took off.
Adegoroye said the road project would be the major benefit of both states from the unprecedented 77 road projects embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and currently ongoing across the country.
Adegoroye also saluted Fashola for his hard work, forthrightness and determination in ensuring the growth of road infrastructure in the country.
Responding, Fashola reaffirmed his earlier comment that lack of funds had made it difficult for the government to begin the project, saying the road had not been abandoned.
Thanking Adegoroye for showing genuine concerns over the project, Fashola promised his counterpart that he would do everything within his power to ensure that the project took off in no distant time.
In a related development, Adegoroye also paid a visit to Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, to seek her assistance for young school leavers of Ondo State origin who were desirous of getting employed in the federal civil and public service.
Responding, the Head of Service, who said she was impressed with the minister’s show of interest in his people’s welfare, stated that there was an embargo on employment.
She added that there could be a waiver in critical sectors of public service, promising to give special consideration to Ondo State when such opportunities arose.
A lawyer, Mr Tope Temokun, has described the announcement of the nomination of a candidate for the vacant Olore stool in Ondo State as a call for the breakdown of law and order in the town.According to Temokun, the announcement was made by the Akintimehin Ruling House on a radio station, Adaba FM.Temokun, the counsel to the Dero Ruling House which is under the family head of Mrs Florence Elizeri, stated this in a petition sent to Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Monday in Akure.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ore stool tussle is before the Court of Appeal in Akure.Temokun explained that it was a blatant error for the Akintimehin Ruling House to announce a candidate for the vacant stool while the matter has yet to be decided by the Court of Appeal.“We write this petition on the brief and on behalf of our client on the heels of a shocking public announcement made on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022 by Prince Enoch Olatomide, the head of the Akintimehin family of Ore. “The family announced on the radio (Adaba FM) and other media the illegal nomination of one Monday Sawoju for the Olore stool, subject of appeal in the Court of Appeal, Akure.“Whoever seeks equity must do equity, so they say.Our client won their case to reclaim the stool at the High Court, “ he said.Temokun said the court expressly asked the Dero Ruling House to nominate and present a candidate to occupy the stool.“The Akintimehin family sought equity before the court by appealing the judgment and applying for a stay of execution of the judgment.“Our clients suspended their process of nomination and presentation of their candidate for the court to pronounce its judgment on the appeal.“The Akintimehin family, who lost at the High Court and were asked to vacate the stool even in the lifetime of the late Olore of Ore, Oba Johnson Olatomide from Akintimehin family.“But this family who ran to the Court of Appeal are the ones now, in a manner that smack of inequity and ridicule to the same court that gave them temporary protection, who are dragging the court to ridicule by going to the media to announce the illegal nomination of a candidate for the stool,” he stated.The counsel asked the Chairman of Odigbo Local Government, Mrs Margaret Akinsuroju, who has been accused by the Dero family of unduly meddling in the Olore chieftaincy process and trying to scuttle the due process law, to steer clear from the nomination of candidature of Olore stool.He warned that whoever that wanted to circumvent the due process of law in the process of appointment of the new Olore would be resisted by Dero Ruling House.Temokun called on the state government not to condone any illegality or any thing that could scuttle the due process of the court and throw Ore community into a state of chaos.According to him, any interference in the process will throw up mixed feelings and concerns that, if not called to order, can cast huge haze on the good intentions, the motive and the neutral position of the government in the matter.“We call on the state government to rise up to arrest this new fashionable trend of brazen illegality of making nomination and self-declaration as an “Oba” without waiting for the approval of the government through the State Executive Council.“The announcement just perpetrated by the head of Akintimehin family, Prince Enoch Olatomide, and the illegally nominated Monday Sawoju and some other lawlessly desperate individuals amongst whom is Mrs Margaret Akinsuroju, the chairman of Odigbo Local Government will not be tolerated.“This is an act capable of causing breach of peace in Ore community and this also constitutes a crime under the Chiefs Law of Ondo State, via the provisions of Section 15, Subsection 1, of Chiefs Law of Ondo State.“It states that where a vacancy has occurred in a recognized chieftaincy and no person has been approved as successor thereto by the Executive Council, any person who installs or purports to install a person as such chief or any person who holds himself out as such chief or presents himself to be installed as such chief commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction o imprisonment for three years.“Ore community is sitting on a time bomb now, waiting to explode if this ugly situation is not arrested with speed.“ Our clients shall remain law abiding even in the face of this provocation,” he said.( NAN)NewsSourceCredit: NAN
A cross section of residents across the South-West zone of Nigeria have urged the Federal Government (FG) to rescind its proposed plan to ban commercial motorcyclists in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports on Monday that while the majority said the ban might add to the hardship of both riders and users of the commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, a handful, however, expressed their support for the plan.
The respondents, who expressed their views in Osogbo, Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti, Abeokuta, Akure and Ilorin, said that the ban might create more jobless youths, thereby increasing the rate of crime and criminality in the country.
NAN recalls that the federal government had, on July 21, through the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), announced the plan to ban motorcycles for commercial purposes across the nation.
An Osogbo-based economist, Tunde Adelakun, said that 70 per cent of people operating commercial motorcycles were making their livelihood and sustaining their families from the trade.
Adelakun said that the ban might add millions of Nigerians to the unemployment data in the country as well as increase crime rate.
He said that most youths in the business, especially in the southern part of the country, were graduates who could not secure corporate jobs with their certificates.
“Many of the youth are already into internet fraud, called yahoo.
And for those who buried their pride to go legitimate with commercial motorcycling, the ban may push them into crime.
“The economy is hard and those earning their livelihood from the business will completely be crushed if the federal government should ban commercial motorcycles in the country.
“If motorcycles are used by bandits and terrorists in some areas, then government should focus the ban on those areas rather than generalising it,” he said.
Also, Mr Taiwo Jimoh, Chairman, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Motorcycle Vigilante Association, Ile-Ife, said that the proposed ban would increase crime in Nigeria, urging government to rescind the decision.
“As we are, we are all graduates; even some of us have master degrees, while others are PhD holders.
“After our graduation, we could not get jobs and since we have wives and children, the only alternative for us to cater for our families is to ride okada.
“If the federal government that does not know of our existence, not to talk of caring for us, is now proposing to ban okada, then they should know that the rate of crime will increase more than ever before,” he said.
Jimoh, however, appealed to government to shun the idea, stressing that “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop”.
He added that the public would also suffer if commercial motorcycles were taken off the streets, especially those with houses in distant settlements.
In Ibadan, the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria (ACCOMORAN), Oyo State chapter, appealed to the federal government to regulate activities of commercial motorcycle rather than outright ban.
Secretary of the association, Mr Abimbola Oyediran, said that the ban was not the best solution to the current security challenge in the country.
“The planned ban is definitely not the solution to insecurity.
Rather, government should regulate its activities.
“I see the ban on commercial motorcyclists increasing the suffering of the masses, as most of them use their motorcycles to fend for their families,” Oyediran said.
Another ACCOMORAN unit leader in Mokola area of Ibadan, Mr Aliu Ayodele, aligned his thoughts with the view that the planned ban might further worsen the unemployment rate in the country.
According to Ayodele, some graduates, who could not secure jobs, ride commercial motorcycles and ‘Keke Napep’ to survive and cater for their wives, children, parents and other dependants.
“Sadly, many able-bodied men, who ride these motorcycles for commercial purposes, are still looking impoverished, as they are unable to make ends meet,” he said.
Meanwhile, a security scholar at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Oyesoji Aremu, said that a nexus had been established between motorcyclists and insurgency, banditry and the likes in the northern part of Nigeria.
“This is also true for the southern part of the country, as many people have used commercial motorcycles to carry out terrorism and other criminal acts.
“Placing a ban on okada will, therefore, help to stem the tide of insecurity in Nigeria, especially in the northern part of the country.
“But the ban can also precipitate other crimes and this is my concern as a security scholar.
“If you plan to solve a problem, you shouldn’t create another problem.
Okada is a means of livelihood for some people, although some criminals are unfortunately using it to their advantage.
“The ban will force many people to be out of jobs and take to crime and criminal activities.
This will, no doubt, be counter-productive.
“It may also have great effect on Nigerians, particularly those on low cadre who use okada to ferry their goods and agricultural produce,” Aremu said.
The don, however, advised government to regulate the business and use their unions to enforce regulations.
“I know they are registered with National Union of Road and Transport Workers (NURTW), but beyond that, they should be made to register with an agency of government.
The profiling of okada riders should be done to ascertain their identities.
“If the commercial motorcycles are used against what they are meant for, the union leaders should then be questioned.
Whether we like it or not, they serve some good purpose in the country,” he said.
Mrs Yosoye Adedeji, a teacher, also said though the idea was good, it would affect the means of livelihood of many Nigerians.
“Those living far away or living in neighbourhoods with difficult terrains that are not motorable will suffer a great deal, as commercial motorcycles are what they rely on as means of transportation,” she said.
Similarly, Mrs Tomi Babatunde, a civil servant, said that the policy, if implemented, end bring untold hardship on the citizens.
“It should not be completely banned.
Rather, there can be some form of regulation through a body that can monitor their activities.
“If the ban is placed, we won’t be able to handle them in their jobless state, unless the government is ready to provide jobs for them,” Babatunde said.
A student, Miss Olamide Abu, queued behind the view that social vices would increase should the ban be effected.
“Fear of insecurity will dominate the landscape.
More atrocities will abound, as those without jobs will indulge in illegal means of livelihood,” Abu said.
Also, Mr Moshood Ibrahim, Chairman, Adeoyo branch of ACCOMORAN in Ibadan, reaffirmed that banning them would not solve the insecurity issue in the country, adding that it would increase crime rather than reducing it.
According to him, those using their motorcycles for kidnapping and perpetrating other crimes are not genuine commercial motorcycle riders.
“They are ones destroying the image of authentic commercial motorcycles riders.
“Recently, a few of them were apprehended and burnt to death by some angry youths in Ibadan,” he said.
He said that most commercial motorcyclists bought their motorcycles on higher purchase, ranging from N550,000 to N600,000, to pay back in installments, in order to feed themselves and families.
Ibrahim, therefore, called on governments at all levels to look for other ways of tightening up security in the country, rather than the planned ban.
A commercial motorcyclist, Mr Akeem Akindele, described his business as the last hope of the common man, owing to lack of good jobs.
Akindele said that he used to be a plank seller before venturing into okada business, as his previous job was not enough to take care of his family.
He stressed that riding motorcycles for commercial purpose was now his only means of livelihood.
“My advice is that government should not ban commercial motorcyclists, but look for other ways of dealing with those using okada to perpetrate crime,” he said.
Akindele, however, commended Oyo State government for commencing registration of commercial motorcyclists in the state to identify and separate authentic motorcyclists from crime perpetrators.
He urged the federal government to also look into the possibility of doing the same.
Prof. Lameed Gbolagade, former Head, Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Ibadan, estimated that 20 per cent of the total population operates okada as means of livelihood.
According to him, such individuals will be thrown into deep penury and dark poverty for simply using the same means of livelihood as those committing crimes of banditry and kidnapping.
“If the ban is effected, those using motorcycles for nefarious activities will device other means of carrying out crimes.
“Government should rather arrest, prosecute and judge the culprits accordingly to serve as deterrent to others.
“Alternatively, more jobs and alternative means of livelihood can be created by government; like mass-scaled employment to the teeming school leavers roaming the streets.
“Industries and artisans should also be encouraged, while soft loans can also be made available to job seekers as a form of engagement.
“If these and other means are put in place, many will not resort to commercial motorcycling as a job,” Gbolagade said.
Also, an Anglican cleric, Ven. Wole Ogunseyinde, described the proposed ban as a double-edged sword.
According to him, the riders meet the transportation needs of a sizeable proportion of the population, but are also sources of danger on the road.
Ogunseyinde noted that the rate of accidents involving motorcycles was alarming, often with severe or fatal casualties.
“They have also become tools for robberies on the roads, in estates and lately, for terrorism.
“They need to be phased out by providing alternative and affordable sources of transportation.
If you ban them by fiat, you throw millions of able-bodied youths into labour market and undoubtedly, crime rate will soar,” he said.
To Pastor Francis Oghuma of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jesus Place, Ibadan, the idea of banning okada is a welcome development and should be fast-tracked to reduce daily accidents and deaths.
Oghuma said with the ban, the roads would again be peaceful, while more communities would be reassured of the hope of being secured.
“The skyrocketing death rate will diminish; banning will in turn increase unemployment, but on the positive side, expanding the already existing access to tricycle transport business will be needed to take care of the disengaged motorcyclists.
“Tricycle is more secure, generates more revenue and has speed limits.
Therefore, subsidising it will also help address our security challenges to a large extent.
“Our interior communities will be strengthened, security wise; major cities will be free of the menace of commercial motorcycles, while our roads will again enjoy cleanliness,” he said.
A community leader, Mr Tunde Kazeem, was, however, of the opinion that crime was increasing in Oyo State due to the influx of motorcycle riders banned in the neighbouring states.
“Motorcyclists, by the way they rob people, have created fear in the hearts of residents in my community, thus forcing us to set up a vigilance group, with members including women,” he said.
Kazeem, therefore, expressed support for the planned ban on commercial motorcycles, to reduce crime rate.
A trader, Mrs Rashida Talabi, said she started limping after being involved in motorcycle accident.
“Motorcycle accidents constitute about 60 per cent of cases of accidents and emergencies in most hospitals,” she said.
Stakeholders in Ogun have, however, called on the federal government to exercise caution over the proposed plan to ban okada.
In Abeokuta, Mr Ladipupo Adebutu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for the 2023 election, advised government against implementing the plan until adequate arrangements had been made to boost other means of transportation.
Adebutu, who acknowledged that motorcycles had become veritable tools for criminals to perpetrate their acts, said government should also consider the importance of the means of transportation to many Nigerians.
“Yes, there is the need to consider the implications of motorcycles in the security situation of the country.
“With documentary just recently shown on television, you only need two things to be a terrorist today: AK-47 gun and motorcycle.
“So, when the government considered the ban on motorcycles, it is quite understandable, because of the pressures they are facing.
“We must, however, remember that motorcycles serve great service to communities.
So, provisions have to be made for alternative means of transportation, such as tricycles, before such action is taken.
“Before you take motorcycles off the streets, alternative provisions must be made to ensure that people don’t face the attendant hardship,” he said.
Mr Nurudeen Alowonle, Chairman, Articulate Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria (AMORAN), Ogun chapter, reiterated that motorcycle had become a major source of transportation in the country.
“Also, commercial motorcycle riders play major roles in the nation’s transportation sector, especially in transporting agricultural produce, economic goods and people, particularly in areas with bad roads,” he said.
Alowonle added that it remained the major source of income and livelihood for millions of Nigerians, particularly the youth.
He opined that if implemented, the proposed plan would have negative impacts on the nation’s economy with serious unemployment rate.
The AMORAN chairman, therefore, urged the federal government to reconsider the plan.
Similarly, Mr Razaq Shotayo, Chairman, Riders and Owners of Motorcycles Organisation of Nigeria (ROMO), warned that no fewer than 30,000 of its members in the state would be rendered jobless, should the plan scale through.
Stressing the importance of motorcycles in the country, he said that government might end up creating other problems in the process of solving one.
“There was a time in this state when market women or civil servants could not move early in the morning without being harassed or robbed by unemployed youths.
“That has been a thing of the past, with many of them either riding motorcycles to make a living or being part of the monitoring teams in various communities.
“Nobody prays for such terrible days to return in this state.
So, government should reconsider the plan,” he said.
The chairman, who noted that security challenge had existed in the country before the present administration came to power, advised the federal government to seek other means of addressing the menace.
He urged the federal government to adopt the Ogun strategy of regulating the activities of commercial motorcyclists by registering and collating their data.
“Over the years, the state government, in conjunction with security agencies and various unions of commercial motorcyclists, has been fighting insecurity by regulating their activities.
“For example, all the unions set up a taskforce and with the help of the security agencies, have been arresting criminal elements hiding under the guise of commercial motorcyclists to perpetrate crime in the state,” he said.
Dr Samuel Nzekwe, former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) appealed to government to put palliative measures to mitigate the effects of the planned ban.
Nzekwe also called for provision of employment opportunities for those who would be rendered jobless if the plan was eventually implemented.
“The action will surely lead to idleness and more suffering, and you know that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” he said.
The former ANAN boss stressed the need for strong monitoring of the nation’s borders, adding that some of the commercial motorcyclists engaging in crime in the country were from neighbouring countries.
He noted that they could easily commit crime at one place and escape to another location without any trace due to lack of sufficient data.
In Ado-Ekiti, a commercial rider, Mr Timothy Akada, said he graduated five years ago from the university, but could still not secure a gainful employment.
While finding it difficult to secure loans with low interest rate to start a business, he said the development resorted into him becoming a driver to an okada owner, as a source of income to feed his family.
“The rate of unemployment in the country has led some graduates into okada business to make ends meet, and cancelling it would only be suicidal,” he said.
Also, Mrs Bose Adeoti, a housewife, said that the ban would increase the rate of robbery, kidnapping and other crimes in the society.
She suggested that rather than outright ban, the activities of the commercial motorcyclists should be restricted in order to reduce the current rate of insecurity.
Mr Gbenga Adagun, a resident of Ikole-Ekiti, said the proposed plan was unfair to the numerous jobless Nigerian youth and could be disastrous.
One of the motorcyclists, Mr Bisi Oguntuase, said it was quite unfortunate that government could be thinking of banning their only means of survival, while many Nigerian youths could not get jobs.
Oguntuase explained that in spite of the lack of jobs, he had been able to build his own house from the motorcycle business and bought additional two motorcycles.
“If the ban should take place, many youths will be left with no alternative than to engage in crimes to survive, while some might resort to taking their lives,” he said.
Another motorcyclist, Mr Jacob Ojo, said motorcycle business had been his source of income since he graduated from the University of Ibadan 20 years ago without getting a job.
Ojo noted that he had also, through the business, built a house and sponsored two of his children to tertiary institutions.
He appealed to government to avoid invoking hardship and uncontrollable state of lawlessness in the country by banning okada.
Mr Joseph Ajayi, a civil servant, said the planned ban was an ill-advised, as commercial motorcycle had become one of the most businesses in the country.
A businessman, Mr Gbenga Awoniyi, said government should provide alternative means of survival for the teeming unemployed youth before thinking of banning okada.
“But for the commercial motorcycle business, the crime rate in Nigeria would have been higher than what we are currently witnessing.
“Although government’s decision to ban commercial motorcyclists can be seen as a good, it is, however, coming at a wrong time.
A community leader, Chief Benjamin Adeleye, said the development, if implemented, might bring the country to a halt.
“Banning commercial motorcyclists nationwide will not only increase the rate of youth unemployment, but also the level of crime and criminality in the society.
”Instead of banning commercial motorcyclists, government should be more responsive to its obligations of protecting lives and property through improved intelligence gathering.
“They should beam their searchlight on the activities and operations of the commercial motorcyclists, while anyone found culpable should be made to face the wrath of the law,” he said.
In Ilorin, the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria in Kwara appealed to the federal government to regulate the practice of operators instead of the ban option.
Mallam Abdulkraheem Jimoh, Vice Chairman of the state chapter of the association, said that motorcycle operators had become an indispensable means of reducing unemployment in the country.
Jimoh observed that okada was an alternative means of transportation, contributing to the economic growth of the nation.
“If you look at the operators, you will see that there are graduates who operate okada because there are not enough jobs to cater for the growing number of graduates in the country.
“These graduates see the okada operations as alternative to being idle and thus earn some money,” he said.
According to him, unemployment breeds lots of evil in the society, adding that the only solution is to regulate the operations of okada riders.
He also advised governments at all levels to rehabilitate the roads across the country to minimise the rate of mishaps.
In his view, CC Fredrick Ogidan, Kwara Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), tasked the government on alternative transport system in order to reduce the negative economic effects of banning okada riders.
Ogidan, however, welcomed the development, saying that untrained riders had been the major cause of accidents on the road.
The sector commander also advised private motorcycle owners to obtain rider’s licence.
“The menace of okada riders is unbecoming.
They daily maim and kill people, and they are also being killed by motorists because of their carelessness on the road.
“It is high time government looked for alternative means of transportation for a fast growing population like Nigeria,” he said.
In Akure, Mr Mutiu Babajide, Secretary, Ondo State Commercial Motorcycle Association, Okitipupa chapter, said that the planned ban would only lead to more job loss, poverty and criminal activities in the country.
Babajide said that many graduates and artisans took to the business because of unemployment and unavailability of patronage due to lack of power.
He urged the federal government to rise up to its responsibility of tackling insecurity headlong, adding that banning okada would only lead to more criminal activities in the country.
“For instance, I am a welder, but lack of power in Ondo South for more than 14 years and the rising cost of diesel had led me to okada business to feed my family.
“Many graduates, who could not find jobs, also took to the same business in order to feed their families.
What does the government want us to be doing if it bans our only source of livelihood?
“I am not saying there are no criminals among commercial motorcyclists, but we have registered our motorcycles with the state government and this has made it easy to fish out the criminals among us.
“Government needs to rise up to its responsibilities, especially on security of lives and property,” he said.