On Wednesday, in Area 1, Garki Abuja, commercial motorcycle operators sobbed unceasingly as they stood helplessly and watched their more than 365 confiscated motorcycles being reduced to ruins by a bulldozer.
Commercial motorcycle operation is not entirely prohibited by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), although there are some areas where it is not permitted.
Despite the limitations, the stubborn bike operators and owners have persisted in blatantly violating the partial ban.
The extensive raids in the Guzape, Durumi, Airport Road-Lugbe, and Kubwa districts were assisted by paramilitary units.
The worst situation, according to the FCT Minister’s Senior Special Assistant for Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah, is the operators’ blatant disregard for traffic laws and their persistent use of the improper lanes.
According to him, the administration only seldom let them to operate in interior villages and estates, but despite this, they have persisted in breaking the rules by brazen acts of abrasive behavior against law enforcement officials.
He suggested that the new practice of seizing bikes and crushing them right away was a trademark initiative started to act as a deterrence and also get rid of the crowd that always surrounded the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTs) headquarters to beg for the bikes’ release.
Attah further stated that , the FCT Minister has given a marching order that the bikes should be impounded and crushed immediately, and this may not be unconnected with reports of Okada riders attacking people and also committing serial crimes in the city.
According to him: ” This operation is a signature project and a decision of the FCTA Security Committee, they agreed that we should go back to massive enforcement of the ban on commercial motorcycles in the Federal Capital City as well as some strategic locations, like the airport road and Kubwa where they have become a big threat to the people.
” We have brought the 356 motorcycles here in Area 1 for immediate crushing because the menace cannot continue. We have gotten complain daily about Okada riders across the city.
” The operation cannot be said to be high handedness because since 2006 when the ban started, the impounded bikes hardly get back to them. The Minister has given us a marching order to impound and crush in the full glare of everybody to avoid the allegation that the bikes were seized and given to somebody else.
” They have been asked to leave the Federal Capital City and you they are here wrecking havoc, committing crimes and killing people.
” Last week in Durumi a personnel in uniform was stabbed and killed, another officer was also stabbed on the head by these same characters, the Okada riders. We have gotten a forfeiture orders for all of these”, he added.
Also, the Mandate Secretary, FCTA Transport Secretariat, Abdullahi Candido said that if the the commercial motorcyclists continue to defy all government’s entreaties to them, by allowing them to operate within designated routes, they will continue to suffer losses.
Candido also disclosed that there the Secretariat will never succumb to the preasures from any quarters to allowance form of illegalities in the nation’s capital.
In his remarks, the Director, Directorate of Road Traffic Services ( DRTS ), Dr. Abdulateef Bello said the operation being the second outing of the joint task team, was commenced to ensure that we clean up commercial motorcycles from the City centre.
He reiterated the need for the Okada riders to obey the traffic rules and all other regulations that will make them acceptable in the areas their operations are permissible.