No fewer than 1000 “thieves” would lose their jobs following the ban on the use of commercial motorcycles popularly called keke in Awka and Onitsha, Anambra State.
The state commissioner for transport, Mr Uchenna Okafor, who disclosed this yesterday in a chat with newsmen, linked the increase in handbag snatching in the state to some of the motorcyclists who he referred to as criminals.
“It is not in doubt that some of these Okada operators are criminals. They are the people snatching bags from women and students. With this ban, over 1000 thieves will leave the state because they have lost their jobs,” Okafor said.
The commissioner, who described the ban as total, further revealed that the army and police officers in the state were barred them from riding motorcycles in the two affected states.
He said the measure was to enable the government enforce the ban in those areas.
“The ban on motorcycle operators is total. There will be no exceptions. We’ve met with the police and army authorities, and made it clear that their personnel won’t be allowed to ride motorcycles in the areas affected by the ban.
“We are not exempting anybody. It’s total and comprehensive. By July 1, no Okada will be seen in any road in Awka and Onitsha areas.
He said the governor had ordered over 1000 shuttle buses from Japan to cushion the effect of the ban on ” genuine motorcycle operators” in Awka and Onitsha.