Majority Leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has cast a major aspersion upon the ambition of opposition NDC leader and former president, John Dramani Mahama to legalize the operations of motorbikes and tricycles popularly known as “Okada” for commercial public transportation should he win the upcoming elections to become president again.
The former president has argued that the illicit ‘Okada’ business which is fast gaining prominence in some densely populated urban centres and hard-to-reach rural settlements is more profitable than government youth job-related initiatives like the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).
Mr Mahama has said, “…these young people live under harassment because it’s illegal and so the police stop them, they take money from them and so my suggestion is that why do we behave like the ostrich? Let us legalize it and let us regulate it, let’s make it safer…”
But speaking in an interview on Kumasi-based Angel FM, the Suame MP said even if Mr Mahama in the unlikely situation becomes the President again, he would be unable to legalize ‘Okada’ operations because per our laws, any such step is a preserve of Parliament.
“He can’t do it; unless he is saying he would want to usurp the powers of Parliament when he becomes the President”;
Meanwhile, Parliament in 2012 approved a legislative proposal by the government to pass the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180) to regulate road transport in the country.
Pursuant to this, Sections 128 (1), (2) and (3) of the L.I. 2180, prohibited the use of motorcycle or tricycle, or what has been popularly known as “Okada” for commercial purposes.