As reactions continue to trail the planned ban of motorcycle operations over security concerns across the country, an association operating under the aegis of National Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (NATOMORAS), has slammed the Federal Government for attributing security challenges to riders.
The National Executive Secretary of the association, Comrade Sylvester Nandi-Esom, speaking with bioreports, in Abuja, said the association has over 14 million members across the country, saying that government was getting its policy wrong by banning motorcycle operations.
He said government, anywhere in the world has a social contract with the people, to ensure the welfare of its citizens and not to create hardships, stressing that the heightening insecurity across the nation was as a result of lack of political will on side of government and not the other way, they were going about it.
Reacting to the siege to Abuja with attendant casualties, Nandi-Esom described as an unfortunate the incident, but said, the federal government didn’t do much to tame the tide of arms smuggling, a development, he posited was responsible for insecurity across the country.
“Government in itself is a social contract that was established between people and the government, to give them protection in the area of security, the area of social welfare, infrastructure, etc.
“So if governments fails in their own responsibility, they look for places to rub what is supposed to be the responsibility to a less privilege category of people in our society.
“The reason, I say this is that government over time have in so many ways failed in the area of security, underrated the aspect of security of properties of life, especially in Nigeria.
“And now the thing they underrated is coming to their doorsteps and out of fear they’re bringing all kinds of stories that Okada Riders have done this and that.
“You recall that we have had serious security challenges in Nigeria. We had the issues of one chance, taxis , Boko Haram started their activities but we didn’t ban the sale of ammunition.
“Where did they get these ammunition? The fact that we do not have borders in Nigeria is already a problem because these ammunition were smuggled into this country because we do not manufacture them.
“People bring them into the country as part of their businesses. They do not ban the smuggling of those ammunition. They do not ban those trading in all these businesses.
“Now that the criminality has increased in our society, the government because of mechanism that happened in Abuja, Kuje prison was assigned to Okada.
“Now my question is, if you ban Okada today, what is the alternative you prepared for the citizens ,what are the mechanisms in place to checkmate these excesses of insecurity? Because, as far as we are concerned, we are an association constitutionally enshrined.
“we are registered with CAC with approximately 14 million members. So if you ban Okada for the reason that crimes are being carried out, now, the issue is we have different segments of Okada.
“There’s commercial purpose, which is that of our members, the private Okada, there’s one that they’re using these days now for delivery. There are teachers that have done empowerment, government have done empowerment for teachers and they have there Okada.”