By Desmond O.Nyarko/Philip Mensah, GNA
Accra, Sept. 26, GNA – Some motorcycle
transporters popularly known as “okada” have complained of deliberate arrest
and extortion by the police for crimes they have not committed.
According to a section of the riders the GNA
spoke to on Wednesday, these policemen use different kinds of charges against
them just to extort money from them even though they have not committed any
Eugene Ibusay, an okada operator, said some
policemen now board “trotro” buses to carry out their operations to take them
by surprise and arrest us.
“They think we well run away when we see them
in their police cars so now they join trotro buses and when they see us parked
or about to pick a passenger then they get down from the bus and arrest us”
Eugene said they only ask for their licenses
“and when you provide it, they still try to find fault with you and arrest you
at all cost, unless u pay up before you are allowed to go”.
He said “sometimes too our customers put us in
trouble by refusing to wear the helmet and when the police sees us they arrest
us and the customers walk away free”
He said some of the customers claim the
helmets are not cleaned and will give them infections.
Prosper Kpabi, also an Okada operator said,
some pedestrians cross the road without being mindful of motorcycles, leading
to knock downs, but the public rather blame them for such accidents and accuse
them of reckless riding.
He said because of the perception that people
have about okada riders, any knockdown is blamed on them “but sometimes it’s
not our fault, I blame the pedestrian who carelessly crosses the road.
Prosper said any minor accident is blamed on
them whether It’s their fault or not, “and this general perception about us
lands us at the police station all the time, which affects our business”.
Alfred Nkrumah urged that their operations be
legalised so that they can pay taxes daily to enable them to operate freely and
also prevent the police from extorting money from them.