Passengers stranded in Anambra as govt begins enforcement on Okada ban


Passengers in the major cities of Anambra State suffered unavailability of mobility yesterday following the implementation of the ban on motorcycles and tricycles on major streets of Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha as announced recently.
Residents of the towns were yesterday as early as 8pm seen on major roads where the ban was announced as they stood by the roadside stranded as a result of lack of commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada and the tricycle also known as keke.
Law enforcement agents, mainly the police had a field day, and were seen in Awka on Ziks Avenue, Arthur Eze Avenue and the Enugu/Onitsha Express impounding motorcycles and tricycles of defaulters, while their passengers are discharged and abandoned.
Recall that last week, a press release by the State Information commissioner, Dr Mary Nwogu had banned the movement of motorcycles and tricycles in major roads in the State capital, Awka; Nnewi
the industrial hub and Onitsha the commercial nerve centre of the state.

The  release jointly signed by Nwogu and Chu’ma Mbonu Esq, the Hon. Commissioner for Transport stated that “The Anambra State government has directed the restriction of all private and commercial motorcycle and tricycle operators from the major expressways in the State from Monday the first day of June, 2015.

“Accordingly, all motorcycle and tricycle operators in the State will from next week Monday be barred from plying the Enugu- Onitsha and Onitsha-Owerri expressways. Similarly, it will be illegal for all motorcycles either private or commercial to ply the following designated roads in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi.”

The release stated further the restricted roads as follows, “In Awka, the roads are: Enugu-Onitsha expressway, Arthur Eze Avenue and Ziks Avenue. For Onitsha, the roads are: Onitsha-Owerri expressway, Awka Road, Borromew-Upper Iweka-Bridge Head road, Old and New Market Roads and
Oguta Road. In Nnewi, they are: Nnewi- Nnobi road and Nnewi – Oba road.”

The release stated that all commuters who must ply these restricted roads are by this announcement advised to use tricycles or the taxis and buses provided by the State Government and other commercial vehicle owners.

As at the time of filling this report yesterday, there was no presence of government taxis as promised or tricycles.
Some of the stranded passengers who spoke to our reporter lamented that there were not against the partial ban, but that an alternative should have been created before the ban as residents who have become used to using these means of transport are now stranded.
A trader, Mrs Nwakaego Obasi said, “We are not against the ban because it is already functional in many other states, but we want the government to create an alternative for us who have become used to using this means. Like in Awka, the three roads banned are the only major roads that can be plied, so government should look at it.”

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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