Former Special Adviser to Kwara State Governor on Labour Matters, Mr Bisi Fakayode, has given insight into the state government’s decision to restructure commercial motorcycle operations in the state, saying it was meant to curtail rising cases of theft and armed robbery.
Speaking during the distribution of N2.5million empowerment items to members of the Okada Branch 3 of the Kwara State council of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on Sunday, Fakayode said instead of outright ban of motorcycles, the government reduced their groups to seven for effective monitoring of their operation.
He said the programme also justified the restructuring of Okada operation by the state government.
The former adviser lauded the leadership of NURTW in the state for transforming the union from what he called “garage boys” to an enviable association populated by progressive-minded people.
“I feel proud and fulfilled; fulfilled in the sense that when God does it, who can change it? About two or three years ago, you know what happened in this nation by way of looking at commercial motorcycle riders as a threat-security wise, political wise and even economy.
“In view of this, so many states banned Okada operation. But by the special grace of God and the wisdom God has endowed Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, he knew the security, political and economic implication and because of that, he directed my office as then the Special Adviser on Labour Matter to him, that we should go into restructuring and by way of trying to see how the government can reach out and empower Okada riders in the state, and that was what we did.
“We were able to restructure them into about seven groups with common uniform. And to God be the glory with that restructuring, the crime rate drastically reduced. Like what is happening today, they were able to organize themselves into formidable groups and there is a kind of competition among the groups”, he said.
The state chairman of NURTW, Alhaji Aliyu Issa Ore and chairman of Okada Branch 3 of the union, Alhaji Rafiu Ewe, said the items were distributed in continuation of the empowerment programme initiated by the union.