Kaduna Assembly bans okada in 10 local govts
The Kaduna State House of Assembly has banned commercial motorcyclists, popularly called okada, from operating in 10 of the 23 local government areas.
The law, which is yet to be signed by Governor Ramalan Yero, stipulates a N10,000 fine or three months imprisonment.
The law repealed the State Road Traffic regulation No 1 of 2002.
The law, which is to be cited as the State Commercial Motorcycles Prohibition Law, 2014 states: “Notwithstanding the provisions of the State Commercial Motorcycles Law No 4 of 1999, the Road Traffic Law Cap 135 Laws of Kaduna State 1991 (including any regulations made in pursuance thereof), no commercial motorcyclist shall operate in some parts of Kaduna State as specified in the schedule.
“All magistrate courts in the areas designated in the schedule shall try summarily all offenders arraigned before them and impose such punishment, sanctions and make such order (including confiscation of the motorcycles) as may be necessary or expedient.”
The affected local governments are Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chikun, Igabi, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Jama’a, Lere, Birnin Gwari and Giwa.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Association of Commercial Motorcyclists of Nigeria have urged the government to refrain from implementing the law.
A statement by the APC Interim Chairman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the proposed ban would further worsen insecurity and unemployment in the state.
The statement reads: “The APC wishes to voice its strong reservations over the propriety of this law in a state like Kaduna.
“We appeal to Governor Yero not to sign this bill because the law will compound insecurity.
“The law banning Achaba will worsen unemployment and deepen poverty. It will impose huge suffering on millions of people whose livelihood depends on the availability of commercial motorcyclists and will raise the cost of living in a state where the economy is already in severe decline.
The union said even though it has not been briefed, carrying out the plan would worsen insecurity and increase unemployment.
Their spokesman, Idris Mohammed, said before enforcing the ban, the government ought to make alternative provision to cushion its effect on commercial motorcyclists and the public.
He dismissed insinuations that commercial motorcyclists are aiding and abetting criminals.
Mohammed argued that the ban would affect the over 100,000 members of the union, including those banned from other neighbouring states of Plateau, Kano, Niger and the FCT.