Edo State government yesterday banned the use of commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada in three local government areas of the state that make up Benin City – the State capital, with effect from next Monday.
Equally, the government has identified some houses used by kidnappers as hideout and vowed to pull down the structures in the next few days.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who disclosed this shortly after the state security council meeting in Benin City on Tuesday, said the affected local government areas are Ikpoba Okha, Oredo and Egor which constitute the Benin metropolis.
While appealing to the Okada riders to bear with the government as it was a tough decision to make, Oshiomhole hinged the ban on evidence that the state is gradually becoming a safe haven for all manner of bike riders.
“In fact, there are confirmed okada riders who have been involved in kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes including robbery. We have tried as a government over the years to take steps to counsel okada riders to observe certain codes, to watch out and ensure that criminals do not infiltrate their ranks and hide under commercial vehicles to perpetrate crime.
“It is clear to me now that we have not been particularly successful. More and more okada riders have been found to be involved in various acts of violent crimes.
“Also, because of the influx of bike riders, arising from the decision of some of our neighbouring states where bike riders have been prohibited, Edo State has become a safe haven for all manners of bike riders and because they do not get enough commercial patronage, some bike riders have to resort to crime in order to sustain a living while posing to be bike riders,” he said.