by Frank Ulom June 22, 2023
Commercial motorcycles (okada) at Eta Agbor, Calabar Municipality on June 18, 2022
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has placed a total ban on all commercial motorcycles, popularly referred to as “okada” in the state’s capital, Calabar.
CONVERSEER learned that the ban may be due to the recent kidnappings and insecurity within the Calabar metropolis and its environs.
Very recently, a lecturer from the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS), Prof. George Iniodu, a staff of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Babara Brownson, Mike Njagu, a staff of the College of Health Technology (COHTECH), and several others were kidnapped, many of which are still in their kidnappers’ den.
It was alleged that motorcycles are used to commit certain heinous crimes due to their ability to manoeuvre through tight corners and narrow roads.
To ensure the safety of the people and the security of the state at large, Governor Otu on Wednesday (June 21), put a ban on all commercial motorcycle.
A press release signed by Emmanuel Ogbeche, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor on Wednesday stated that the development was after due consultation with key Security Chiefs in the State.
The press statement disclosed that the governor directed: “A total ban on the activities of all commercial motorcyclists within the Calabar metropolis.
“Those willing to use their motorcycles to earn a decent living are restricted only to remote areas away from the city centre.
“Anyone caught going against this directive will have the motorcycle impounded, and the offender prosecuted”.
In a similar vein, the press statement said that “those involved in the criminal vandalisation of public amenities like street lights, lamp posts, traffic lights, etc, are advised to desist forthwith, as culprits will be made to face the full wrath of the law”.
Recall that former Governor Liyel Imoke imposed a ban on all commercial motorcycles in Calabar but the city started witnessing a return during his successor’s administration, former Governor Ben Ayade.