Motorcyclists’ Clash with Task Force Causes Traffic in Abuja
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Commercial motorcyclists, popularly known as Okada, yesterday clashed with the Task Force mandated by the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) to enforce the ban on commercial motorcyclists operations in some parts of Abuja.
The protesters set up bonfires on the road close to Dunamis Church on the Airport road, causing traffic.
But the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has said it restored calm in the area, warning that the destruction of public property remained a criminal offence.
The blockade caused panic in the city, forcing motorists to drive against traffic and taking alternative routes.
An eyewitness said dozens of riders caused chaos, threatened, and hurled insults at motorists.
According to the eyewitness, “Thank God for my life. On Lugbe road, there was a heavy protest going on-throwing of stones and burning of tyres. We managed to scale through. They gathered on the side of the road that leads to town, not far from the Glory Dome of Dunamis Church.”
However, the FCT Police Command said it has restored normalcy in the area.
A statement issued by the Command said monitoring and surveillance continued on the scene while efforts were ongoing to arrest miscreants responsible for the disturbance of public peace.
“Today, at about 11:30 a.m., reports of civil unrest broke out around the Airport expressway near Gosa Market in the FCT. The incident, which attracted many false narratives, was merely an uncultured display of dissatisfaction by commercial motorcycle riders popularly called Okada, who took to the streets burning tires and other substances following the activities of the Task Force who had earlier confiscated some motorcycles for certain violations.
“Upon the receipt of the information, police operatives from Iddo Divisional Police Headquarters were swiftly drafted to the scene where necessary measures were taken to restore peace and normalcy to the situation.
“Consequent upon the above, members of the public are urged to eschew fake news or contrary narratives and to go about the discharge of their lawful businesses without the fear of harassment or molestation of any kind or from any quarters.”
The statement issued by the command said the monitoring and surveillance continue on the scene while efforts were ongoing to arrest miscreants responsible for the disturbance of public peace.
It said the state Commissioner of Police, Babaji Sunday, while reassuring the residents of the command’s unflinching commitment to bringing crime to the barest minimum, noted that the burning of combustible material on tarred road amounts to the vandalism of government property, stating that the full wrath of the law will be meted out on erring persons.
The statement enjoined residents to continue to partner the police to ensure the security of the city.