BY MONDAY UWAGWU
Delta State Government, at the weekend, illuminated the underpin of its policy on the imminent phase out of commercial motor cycle business in parts of the state. It said the move has economic and security undertones.
Making out the position of the government on the matter, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Labour and Industrial Relations, Comrade Mike Okeme, said the policy would enable the Uduaghan administration to simultaneously attain its desire to further empower Deltan youths as well as reduce the incidence of crimes in the state related to the operations of the okadamen.
Security and other interests have consistently laid part of the blame for the rate of crimes in society on the ubiquity of the okadamen, as well as the propensity of criminals, on get-away bids, to use that mode of transport to make good their escape , mainly via routes otherwise inaccessible to other means of transportation.
Okeme, in a telephone chat on Friday in Asaba, said : “The Uduaghan government, has, as it promised, acquired more vehicles, including the big luxury buses that can each carry up to 60 passengers, as well as tricycles and boats, to boost transportation. Very soon, the Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, will launch them and phase out the okada. The reason for this (phase out of okada) is mainly because of the criminality associated with its operations. They (okada ) are being used by criminals to perpetuate crimes and harm the peace and security agenda of the state government. Most of the robberies and other crimes in parts of the state are either carried out using okada, or they (criminals) escape, using okada. Many of these okada men are not even from this state.”
He added that the policy would also enable the state government better empower Deltans into the okada business, since those affected by the phase out will be given the tricycles on amenable terms.
Okeme dismissed insinuations that the policy could cause unemployment, stressing that the tricycle is a more viable tool of empowerment, relative to the okada.
According to him, “ if you are an okadaman and you are given a tricycle, you have nothing to worry about because a tricycle is ordinarily better than an okada. It is also a better empowerment than okada, and it is safer and can carry up to three or four passengers more conveniently, unlike the okada. “
He said that those to be allotted the tricycles would be assigned routes and they could ply in all of the major cities of the state.
BY MONDAY UWAGWU