Owa-Oyibu Youths Call on Delta to Reverse Ban on  Motorcycle Operation in Ikaland

Sunday Okobi

The youths of Owa-Oyibu in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State have called on the state government to have a rethink on the ban on commercial and private motorcycles in Ikaland, stating that the socio-economic consequences on the people are huge.

The youths, under the umbrella of the supreme youth group in the land, Agham-Ihun Oyibu, urged the state government to urgently take a second thought and reverse the decision to ban Okada operation in Ikaland in the best interest of the people of the agrarian community and environs, as well as peace, justice, equity and good conscience.

In a statement signed and made available to THISDAY yesterday by the Chairman of the group, Hon. Nkeki Uzo Benson, he stated that “Ika is the agricultural and economic hub of Delta State in terms of food production, endowed with richly fertile soil. It has many organised markets for agro produce  such as Abavo Oyoko Market, Igbodo Market, Afia Ogboma, Ebu Owa Market, Umunede Market, Owa Alero Market, Baleke Market, Afor Market in Owa-Oyibu, among others,” lamenting that if the ban is allowed to stand, commuters as well as the movement of goods and farm produce from one place to another in Ikaland would suffer hugely as motorcycles are the major means of transportation in the land.

Benson added that: “Nearly all the farmers rely majorly on bikes (Okada) as means of transportation. They access their farms and markets from Boji-Boji metropolis to other areas with bikes. Bike is the only means to access the remote farm roads. The ban of motorcycle will definitely affect farming and food production negatively and will bring Ika nation growth and development to a halt, while social and economic lives of the people will suffer. The multiplier effect will be negative to a large proportion.”

He noted  that the ban would further create additional joblessness in the land and the state, which might heighten the already tensed insecurity in the state.

“There are no industries or factories in Ika land to accommodate those the ban would affect. Over 40 per cent of our workforce, mostly the youths, have ventured into Okada operations as a means of livelihood. Over 5,000 youths in Ika land, many of whom are graduates, are into commercial motorcycling and are coping with it. Over 50 per cent of the bike riders are happily married with children. It is obvious that a ban on motorcycling in Ika land will render over 5,000 Deltans jobless, and their dependents helpless. This will generate high unemployment resulting in crimes in society.

“It is our hope as democrats that the policies of the government that results from our vote will improve our standard of living. Therefore, it’s an aberration for the policies of a democratically elected government to neglect the livelihood of the electorate. The ban of okada is bound to cause untold hardship on the good people of Ika nation, both male and female, young and old, and indigene or non-indigene.

“I, on behalf of all the peace-loving youths of Ika nation, therefore, appeal to the Delta State Governor, Hon Sheriff Oboriewori, to take a second thought and reverse the state decision to ban motorcycle operations in Ika land in the best interest of the people, as well as peace, justice, equity and good conscience.”

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