Osun commercial motorcyclists, government trade words over identification jackets

A cross-section of commercial motorcyclists operating within Osogbo, the Osun State capital have protested against the non-delivery of riders identification jackets by the state government several months after they were paid for.

The protesters while venting their anger disclosed that each commercial motorcyclist was made to part with N2,500 for the jacket adding that 90 per cent of them have not been given the riders jacket after the state government had promised that it would be delivered to them, few months after payment.

“Only those who paid for the jacket at the early stage received it, while 90 percent of them were going about with the ticket issued to them by the government as evidence of payment.”

The motorcyclists also complained that instead of the state government issuing them identification jackets, they resorted to reducing the highway fine for them from N5,000 to N3,400.

Reacting, the Osun State Government through the Hussein Olatoke Olaniyan Special Adviser on Works and Transport stated that a good number of the commercial motorcyclists that have collected the jackets have been wearing them while some were not.

Olaniyan also revealed that many security identity cards that have been printed by the state government were also waiting for collection.

In a statement titled, The truth about Okada rider’s jackets, Olaniyan explained that in the aftermath of the October 2020 EndSARS protests, the state government had mandated all the seven commercial motorcyclists and tricycles unions to come up with means of membership identification.

The reason behind the move by the government the Special Adviser revealed was for easy identification of illegal operators within their rank.

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The Special Adviser said the leadership of the unions were given free hands to procure their membership jackets and that the state government only issued security coded identification cards at the cost of N300 per card.

He explained that Messers Jide John J J Ventures, a consultant engaged by the seven unions handled the jacket procurement process.

In his words, “Payment of N2,500 for the jacket and ID card by each okada rider was done through their respective unions. The State Government did not collect any money from either individual okada rider or their unions.

Olaniyan also revealed that the leadership of the okada unions informed the government that so many jackets were ready for collection but their members were not showing up for their collection.

The uniform jacket policy DAILY POST recalled was launched as part of government’s effort to regulate the activities of commercial motorcycle operators within the state.

The Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola had during the launch of the programme on March 21, 2021, said the step was taken to curtail the activities of hoodlums who perpetrate evil under the guise of being commercial motorcyclists.

Oyetola had held that it was unfortunate that some hoodlums and undesirable elements had over the years taken advantage of the unregulated nature of commercial motorcyclists operations to engage in unwholesome activities such as robbery, kidnapping and pickpocketing.

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