From Princely Onyenwe, Abuja
Okada riders in Owerri metropolis have charged the Imo State Traffic Management Authority (ISTMA) to move out for enforcement to check on riders on restricted routes otherwise the policy will hold no water and in the end become business as usual.
This statement was made at the time of this report in Owerri when our correspodent interviewed some of the Okada riders who have continued to shuttle restricted routes in Owerri Imo State Nigeria.
The okada riders appreciate the announcement of such moves to check accident and traffic Congestion caused by ridding of Okada in the municipality and call on the Government to mobilize to work.
Even the so called traffic lights have similar issues on the offenders and in the end no law enforcement agency will take action to prosecute offenders and this has made Imo state a lawless place our correspodent gathered.
Take for instance, the popular douglas road which has continued to be congested and filled with refuse on daily basis and no law enforcement agency has come to prosecute offenders.
Traffic lights are meant for safety and orderliness on our roads but Imo state government is not being proactive to mobilize taskforce to check on traffic offenders and charge them immediately to a mobile Court. Imo traffic management can borrow a leaf from Lagos state traffic management.
However, ISTMA is pushed to commence enforcement of ‘Operation No More Okada’ at restricted areas in Imo state, our correspodent gathered.
In a release signed and made available to 9News Nigeria (Owerri), the Imo State Traffic Management Authority (ISTMA) over the weekend began the enforcement of ban on commercial motorcyclists popularly known as ‘Okada’ at restricted areas of the state.
The enforcement regime code named “Operation No More Okada” is aimed at enforcing the already existing laws of the state government on restricting the use of motorcycles at certain restricted areas of state most especially the state capital – Owerri.
Leading the enforcement team of the authority, the Honorable Commissioner for transport, Hon. Barr. Rex Anunobi (Sokom) whose ministry supervises the activities of the traffic management parastatal said that they were poised to rid the state of undesired elements to maintain the sanity and of laws and orders in the state.
The honorable commissioner informed news men amidst the clampdown of the illegal transport operators that the state traffic management authority has given more than enough grace to the outlawed transport operators noting that anyone of them caught breaking the laws of the state would be dealt with according to the extant laws of the land.
Honorable Sokom noted that there would be no option of fine handed to those flouting the laws of the state while informing the illegal transport operators that those whose motorcycles would be caught at restricted areas will be confiscated as there will be no option of bail.
Leading the operation, the public transit inspector and the coordinator of Imo State Traffic Management Authority (ISTMA) Comrade Uche Frank Obi said that the authority has given enough grace to illegal transport operators to vacate restricted areas as they are all out to enforce the laws of the state banning use of motorcycle at such restricted areas.
“We are on operation no more Okada at restricted areas in Imo State. We have at various occasions given them the grace for to vacate the areas and now is the time to enforce that directive and my men are on ground to sanitize the system.” he said.
Meanwhile, the Honorable Commissioner of Transport, Hon. Barr. Rex Anunobi (Sokom) have listed out the following areas as prohibited by Imo State laws for motorcycle operation in the state capital:
1. Owerri Umuahia Road.2. Road Safety Junction.3. Owerri ABA road. 4. Naze Junction.5. Owerri Port-harcourt Road.6. Hospital Junction.7. Owerri Orlu Road.8. Akwakuma Junction.9. Owerri Okigwe Road.10. Amawire Orji. 11. World Bank Junction.12. Control-Post by Assumpta.
Prior the this publication and enforcements, these have been officially communicated to the leadership of commercial motorcycle operators in the restricted areas as mutually agreed by both their leadership and the Authority.
Imo people are law abiding citizens but the government agencies charged with the responsibilities to implement these laws are sitting on the fence while the state shrink.
9News Nigeria (Owerri) For inquiries on this news contact 9News Nigeria Imo State @08036856526