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Monday, 30 May 2016

The Menace Okada Constitutes To Driving - 2.

Various sets of people in the society including, government workers, students, traders and business people find okada business a great relief from the congested traffic situations that are sometimes common sight during the rush hours in the morning and afternoon when schools and offices close. They are readily available to take you back home after that TGIF night party, they are the ones who are up early to transport the workaholics amongst us to their place of work before 7am, they are the ones who have the super abilities to maneuver through that hot afternoon traffic gridlock so men don't loose good appointments or a date with that girl you've been crushing on, they are the ones who are able to transport you into the far end of your street where buses or taxi don't ply.


Unfortunately, it is no news that the rise in okada usage has been accompanied by increased occurrences of risky driving, accidents, and crimes - at least our ladies who have lost their fine arm breaking designer bags are our witnesses. Yes, we know them by their stripes. They account for 80% of the scratches on your car, in an accidental occurrence - they are always right and you are always wrong, they are the primary cause of road accidents in major cities, hit or get hit by one and the rest of the pack comes running to the rescue. As a result, both the riders and the business have come under heavy attack culminating in legislations restricting or prohibiting their operations in some Nigerian cities.

The rate of okada accidents which are fatal and crippling are way more higher than that of automobiles and this poses a serious threat to the security, live and property of Nigerian citizens. It is very obvious that Okada riders neither care about the law, nor about people on the streets. You find them all over the streets, and they do not care for lanes demarcated for incoming or outgoing traffic, when a motorists is moving across a crossroad - an okada rider riding at full speed still expects the motorist to stop for him to pass! No, I'm just curious - who will survive the crash??? One thing I have come to notice from my daily encounter with okada riders is that when they are on their motorcycles they are another different person entirely like someone flipped a switch or something. Also, we have cases of okada riders carrying more than one passenger at a time. A machine which is designed to carry just one passenger is seen carrying up to three or four passengers and most cases always involves children.

In order to curb this menace, some States in Nigeria have imposed a ban on motorcycles from plying some roads across the states. It has reduced the recklessness of this untamed men. The fact that okada has
become a terrible menace and a huge embarrassment is no doubt true but is banning the ultimate solution? Let us put the following into consideration;
- Residents who live in remote locations will face untold hardship accessing major roads from their homes.
- To meet up with work and other engagements people may decide to trek early in the day or late in the night and end up waylaid by thieves in unsafe areas.
- There will be more unemployed youths who really mean to make a living from the okada business and lots of other reasons.
The question of its safety however remains a thing of worry to Nigerians.

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