Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi

Last week, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, at the inauguration of Alhaji Samsudeen Apelogun as the Fifth National President of the Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), in Abuja advised the new leadership to work on re-training its members in line with global best practices.

No doubt, there had been lots of worries about the operations of commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists in different parts of the country ranging from recklessness to security challenges and threats, among others. This informed the reason the Lagos State Government under Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola in 2012 banned their operations on some roads in the state. And a number of state governments had thereafter frowned at the unnecessary loss of life due to the care-free attitude of the commercial motorcycle and tricycle operators.

It is true that you cannot give what you do not have. As such, the place of training and re-training of members of a reputable organization like ACOMORAN is very important given its over 12 million membership capacity and the influence it wields in the country. Pathetically, it is only in this part of the world that we leave everything to common sense, forgetting that sense itself is not common. Hence, the need for regular training that will serve as a reminder for common sense thereby instilling sanity into the practice.

Also, the need to re-brand the association at a time such as this cannot be over-emphasised. Today, whenever a commercial motorcyclist is sighted, the first thing that comes to mind is that this fellow must be a tout or a rough person. This gives credence to the fact that the call of Mr. Amaechi for the re-branding of the association is very timely. That the association has been labeled negatively does not mean that all its operators are rough. But it is necessary to make dignity, good disposition and friendliness a priority since the job is about relating with the members of the public. Sound ethical conduct can be communicated to members when there are painstaking efforts to rebrand the association.

The new National President of ACOMORAN, Alhaji Apelogun, has an uphill task ahead. However, looking at his track recorded and success recorded in his eight years as the Chairman of the association in Ogun State, one can be confident that he will not disappoint, especially now that he has assured the minister and the general public that he will revitalize ACOMORAN and make it the foremost motorcycle and tricycle association in the country.

In Ogun State, under the leadership of Apelogun, the association collaborated with the state government by compelling the riders to use government number plates. This move brought sanity to the operations of commercial riders since they are aware that the hands of the law can easily catch up with them in case of any misconduct or infraction.

Femi Onasanya, Abeokuta, Ogun State