It’s no longer news that July 1st 2018 marked the end of commercial Motorcycles, popularly known as Okada in Awka, Onitsha and their Satellite towns.
This was sequel to the decision of the government of Anambra State to ban the usage of commercial motorcycles from plying the major cities of Awka, Onitsha and their neighbouring towns.
While some had applauded the government decision, others had kicked against it.
The government according to its press release majored their decision to ban the use of commercial motorcycles on crime reduction.
In a statement attributed to Anambra’s Commissioner for Transport, Mr Uchenna Okafor over 1,000 thieves is expected to be weeded out as the Okada ban takes effect. The Commissioner noted that this is possible because most crimes are executed with the use of motorcycles.
The Commissioner equally stated that the state government has ordered no fewer than 1,000 shuttle buses from Japan to cushion the effect of the ban in Awka and Onitsha areas of the state.
Today, the Okada ban has taken effect, the Japan shuttles are yet to arrive but the trekking has commenced without delay.
The ban on Okada will no doubt increase demand for transport “drop” services, car hire and lease services. But the unavoidable consequence is the trekking consequence.
Commuters will have to trek out few distances to be able to board a bus, cab or keke. Movement delays will equally increase as some of our streets and inner roads are not commutable by bus or cab.
The state government’s decision to ban Okada will come with a lot of responsibilities on their part – some of these include, giving adequate attention to street roads within the banned areas, proper naming and labeling of our streets and junctions, and designation of routes for keke and shuttle buses.
In achieving a successful ban, the state government must ensure that our inner street roads stay accessible and durable.
Without doubt, the “shortcut” transport delivery services of Okada will be missed by all, except for the bourgeois. To this end, the state government has a responsibility to ensure the implementation of an effective transport system to bridge the lacuna left by the Okada exit on the citizenry.
Till then, let’s trek it out!
Kingsley is a Writer, Social commentator and a Political enthusiast.