Immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has given reasons why he did not ban Okada operations in the state during his eight year tenure.
Speaking during the one-year memorial service of Mother Lucy Okoli-Ogudebe, mother of Uche Ekwunife, at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Igboukwu, yesterday, Obi said the state’s socio-economic indices did not support the ban.
Some states have restricted the operations of Okada riders while others out rightly banned them for security reasons.
But Obi, who revealed that he came under immense pressure to ban Okada as a means of transportation when he was governor, explained that he always considered the socio-economic implication of policies and actions before taking them.
He said: “I agree that Okada contributes to crime, but we must also accept that many of them are also good people and we cannot punish the multitude because of the sins of a few. We cannot, for example, seek the closure of a market because a few sell fake products in the market”.
Obi, who explained that what was needed was strict monitoring of Okada riders, said that was why under his watch, a law limiting them to certain hours of the day was passed.
He admitted that though socio-economic indicators might favour the ban of Okada in some other states, it did not in Anambra State.
“Anambra State has many motorcycle assembly plants employing thousands. Many families depend on Okada riding for survival. Many youths are in that business to make ends meet. If we ban it in Anambra, it will be a disaster to the economy of the state”, he said.