By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has explained that the introduction of riders’ jackets and identification tags for commercial motorcycle operators in the State is an attempt to sanitise the business for the general safety of citizens and for the sanctity of transport business.
Speaking during the launch of the Osun State Okada riders’ jackets and identification tags at the State Secretariat in Osogbo, on Wednesday, Oyetola lauded commercial motorcycle operators as critical players and contributors to the socio-economic development of the State, but added that their sterling contributions can only be appreciated under an organised and regulated atmosphere.
Oyetola said: “As you are all aware, hoodlums and undesirable elements have taken advantage of the unregulated nature of your activities to engage in unwholesome activities such as robbery, kidnapping and pick-pocketing, this giving your job a bad name and image. Non-regulation of your activities has also brought in unlicensed and unskilled people into your fold who get involved in needless accidents and cause needless deaths and maiming daily across the State. Your members are not spared from some of these needless tragedies.
“As a government that has the responsibility for the security and safety of its citizens, we cannot stand by and watch our citizens suffer untold hardship.
“Today’s launching of jackets and identity cards for the use of your members is a step toward sanitising your activities for the good of your members and the generality of our citizens. It is a vote for our collective safety and security.
“It is a way of restoring your image as responsible omoluabi and educated gentlemen. It is a step towards keeping you and your loved ones – your wife, your son, your daughter, your parents, and other members of your family, safe.
“Government will do all within its powers to bring errant members to book to serve as a deterrent to others. No effort will be spared to protect the lives of our people”, Oyetola stated.
In his welcome remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Engr. Hussein Olatoke Olaniyan, described the initiative of the government as one that is geared toward the safety and security of the people of Osun.
According to Olaniyan: “The significance of today’s epoch-making event is underscored by the imperativeness of its social, security, safety, administrative and financial importance to the State of Osun.
“The use of motorbikes and tricycles in the transportation sector of the Nigerian economy has become so popular that the operators and their operation need to be properly monitored and regulated by government in order to ensure the safety and security of our people.
“It is in consideration of this fact that the State government came up with this scheme whereby all operators of this mode of transportation are made to undergo biometric data capture, with the issuance of riders jackets and ID cards for ease of identification.
“The Rider’s Unique Code printed on the jacket and ID card comprises the rider’s union, local government of operation and code number.
“The State Government of Osun shall make the portal accessible to top security operatives, FRSC Zonal and Unit Commanders, top government functionaries and senior field staff of O’TRAM (Osun State Traffic Managers) for effective monitoring and regulation. These bodies in collaboration with the task force set up by OSCOMORUN will enforce the use of the Riders’ jackets and ID cards.
“This scheme is specially designed to weed out from their midst infiltrators and people of questionable characters who are portraying them in bad light. I also appeal to the generality of the commuting public to take cognisance of the danger of patronising okada and keke Napep operators who do not wear their Rider’s jackets and ID cards or who ply the roads with unregistered motorcycles”, Olaniyan stated.
Also speaking during the launch, the Chairman of the Osun State Commercial Motorcycle Riders Union of Nigeria (OSCOMORUN), Ismail Tiamiyu, lauded the administration of Governor Oyetola for the initiative, describing it as a security measure that is necessary for the identification of the real operators from the mischief-makers.