Delta State Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Ben Igbakpa, has come under fire for burning over 200 commercial motorcycles, commonly referred to as Okada riders, in Sapele area on Sunday, an act some have described as ‘wickedness and jungle justice’.
A source identified as ‘Karo’ informed SaharaReporters that commissioner Igbakpa ordered the seized commercial motorcycles to be set ablaze following a ban on the use of commercial motorcycles two weeks ago in several areas of the state including Ika South, Ika North and Sapele.
The alleged, and controversial, burning of the motorcycles was carried out at the Mosogar end of the Gammon Bridge.
A SaharaReporters correspondent who communicated with Commissioner Igbakpa stated that the commissioner noted his displeasure and frustration at the lack of compliance by the banned Okada operators despite having postponed the date of ban several times.
Commissioner Igbakpa added that a monitoring exercise, which began on the first of October and which resulted in the seizure of the burnt motorcycles, became necessary in order to appraise the Okada operators of the seriousness of the state’s directive of the ban.
Finally, Commissioner Igbakpa encouraged the banned commercial motorcycle operators to adopt the use of commercial tricycles popularly referred to as ‘Keke Napep’ at a reduced rate from the state transport secretariat of Asaba, if they must remain in business.
The SaharaReporters correspondent, who also communicated with the Asaba Commissioner of Transport reported that the commissioner denied any knowledge of the burning of the over two hundred motorcycles.
“I am not aware of the burning of any Okada, the fact remains that any confiscated Okada is not going back to the owner. How such Okadas are being disposed is not the issue, what matters is that, all Okadas in these areas must be off the road,” said the Asaba Commissioner of Transport.