BAN ON OKADA MAY NOT EXTEND TO IKA LAND BY DR. A. E. MONYE.

 

If the indices
used for banning the use of Okada as a means of transport in some parts of
Delta State is considered, Ika Land may not be affected in the announcement.
This is because the rate of crimes being committed with the use of Okada must
have been the reason why Government banned the use of Okada in those areas.

Enough evidence
shows that criminal tendencies in Ika land is not only reduced but the people
of Ika Land are not known to be harbouring criminals as been the case in the
areas where okada has been banned.

Besides, Ika
people are agrarians by nature and they use okada mostly for the transportation
of their farm produce. As such, the ban of okada in the area will not only
affect the okada riders, it will affect market women, farmers and the community
in general. It has been a known fact that okada is always used for kidnapping
and criminal activities in Asaba, Warri and some other parts of the state but
such reports are rarely  reported in Ika
Land. The government has law enforcement agencies across the State and the
reports of these agencies directly motivate every action taken by Government on
policy matters. The law enforcement agencies could not have advised the
Government to ban okada in Ika Land because okada is not used for criminal
activities in the area.

Everybody is
aware that okada is being used for kidnapping and criminal activities in
Ughelli and the environs and the ban of Okada in that community was reasonable
and necessary. Recently, all the major associations in Ika South Government
came together to form an amalgamated pressure group known as Ika Peace
Movement. The aim of the group is to broker peace and seek the welfare and
liberty of Ika people. The group has mediated with the government on the
proposed ban on Okada in Ika Land and has requested government to repair the
roads and streets in Ika Land so as to allow easy movement of Keke Napep if it
becomes necessary to ban okada. Although the government has not replied to the
letters from the group, but there are enough evidence to show that the
Government is not intending to ban okada in Ika Land.

Okada riders
should go about their normal duties and stop peddling rumours or do anything to
jeopardize the peace in Ika Land. The ban on okada in any community is based on
how okada is used in that community. If a community allows the use of okada for
criminal tendencies, surely, the government will ban okada in those areas but
if okada is used for normal services of transporting people from one place to
the other, such people have nothing to fear about government ban on the use of okada.
What Ika people should do now is to encourage the existing associations and
unions to support the efforts of Ika Peace Movement in cash and kind to impress
the Government of Delta State to repair the roads and streets in Orogodo
instead of banning the use of okada.

 

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