The Bauchi State Road Traffic Agency (BAROTA), on Tuesday, reiterated that activities of commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as ‘Okada’ or ‘Achaba’, remained banned in the state.
Mr Tijjani Gamawa, Chairman of the agency, who made this known at a news conference in Bauchi, stated that the agency would ensure the enforcement of the ban.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Bauchi state government, in March 2020, banned the activities of commercial motorcyclists as one of the measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Gamawa also explained that anybody conveying three or more people on his motorcycle and riding recklessly would be regarded as a commercial rider, and would be arrested and his motorcycle seized.
Similarly, the chairman warned that any tricycle rider (Keke Napep) that carried an additional person on the front seat would be arrested, fined and prosecuted.
He said this had become necessary as the practice posed security threats to residents.
“So, I want to bring to the notice of everybody and the notice of the good people of Bauchi state that the law banning commercial motorcycle operations is still there and we are going to enforce it.
“Another issue is that of tricycles, popularly known as Keke Napep. If you notice, you will see a lot of them carrying an extra person in the front seat, as a result of that, we have noticed a lot of insecurity problems within the state.
“Henceforth, any tricycle rider that takes on an additional person in the front seat will be arrested, we will impound his tricycle, he will also have to pay a fine and from there, we are going to take him to court. This is because the practice is against the law,” the chairman said.
He urged them to register their tricycles for proper identification.
“We are calling on them to go and register so that we will know the type of people that come in and the people that go out.
“We are doing all these because of the security situation in the country. We will not sleep, we will not just fold our arms and watch some people facilitate insecurity in the state,” he said.
He said BAROTA had arrested over 100 traffic violators in the state and been mandated by the state governor, Bala Mohammed, to relocate 298 ‘illegal traders’ in the state, from various locations to a single one.
Gamawa revealed that the agency had started issuing letters of relocation of the traders to the Area Office, Ministry of Works, opposite Muda Lawal Market, where they would be relocated.