Okada, Keke Napep Riders Decry Govt. Harassment Over ID Card
The introduction of identification cards to commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists in Ondo state appears to be counter-productive for the operators who are now made to pay by state government agents.
Although, the idea was aimed at instilling sanity into the system but the poor handling of the exercise by the government had turned the transporters into money making machines for the task force.
According to some of the Okada and Keke Napep riders who are yet to get their ID cards, task force have seized the opportunity to extort money from them.
"We all registered in our different branches where we were told that we won't be allowed to operate without ID cards. But to our surprise, when the cards were ready, many of us didn't see our own and when we complained, they told us that it is batches by batches.
"Since last week, we can't move around freely to do business. Even if we try to explain to the task force, they won't listen to us. They will either force us to part with some money or threaten to seize our machines and take to the ministry of transport." Said Suleiman Adetona, an Okada rider.
The situation was not also different with the Keke Napep riders in the state who complained bitterly for paying the debt they did not owe.
"The government said they want to give us ID card and jacket and we should register and submit our passports.
"We all did as they requested only for them to bring for some people and leave some of us out. So how is that our faults that we will have to be arrested and harassed each time we carry passenger?"
Reacting to the development, the senior special assistant to the Ondo state governor on special duties, Dr. Doyin Odebowale assured the operators that the items will get to all of them.
He however denied the knowledge of their harassment by the task force saying the initiative was aimed at beefing up security in the state as the items are not transferable.
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