The Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu has placed a total ban on the activities of all commercial motorcyclists otherwise known as Okada riders within the Calabar metropolis.
This was contained in a press release signed and made available by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.
According to him, the directive is geared towards ensuring a safe and secured Cross River.
Ogbeche disclosed that the gesture is after the Governor’s due consultation with key Security Chiefs in the State.
He further said that those willing to use their motorcycles to earn a decent living are restricted only to remote areas away from the city centers.
He, however, warned that; “Anyone caught going against this directive will have the motorcycle impounded, and the offender prosecuted.”
In the same vein, Governor Otu has warned “Those involved in criminal vandalization of public amenities like street lights, lamp posts, traffic lights, etc are advised to desist forthwith, as culprits will be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
Ban on Okada in the Calabar metropolis was lifted in 2022 after 15 years. The state’s former governor, Liyel Imoke placed the ban in 2008 in order to curb crime in Calabar.
The government of Imoke said Motorcycles were used to perpetrate crimes in Calabar, with Calabar South being the most targeted area following the narrow roads.
When Governor Ben Ayade was elected in 2015, he ensured the ban stands. He extended it to some places at 8 Miles and suburbs of Calabar South. However, the ban was lifted a year before he left office as the governor.