Focusing on Okada lawlessness
The introduction of commercial motor-bikes, locally called Okada, has gone a long way in alleviating transportation problems in the capital city, Freetown and the provincial towns and villages.
Our narrow roads in the city and the deplorable feeder roads in the provinces have contributed immensely to the booming of the Okada industry.
Many Sierra Leoneans have resorted to the use of ‘Okada’ as the fastest means of transportation through the traffic congestion of the city and the pothole laden feeder roads in many parts of the provinces. So, the Okada industry has been a blessing.
But we are concerned about the lawlessness among many Okada riders who have made the ‘Okada blessing’ to look more like a curse in disguise.
Apart from the reckless riding by which riders imperil the precious and irreplaceable lives of citizens, the gross manner in which some Okada riders violate traffic rules and violate the rights of passengers has become a concern for many well-minded citizens.
As much as we appreciate the Okada industry for mitigating transportation problem’s in the country, we as well condemn vehemently and categorically the activities of some Okada riders, especially those engaged in robbing poor passengers.
We have even been receiving persistent reports that some Okada riders in the provinces, particularly, have acculturated the indecent habit of raping their passengers. We regard such display of lawlessness as totally unacceptable and punishable.
This medium has observed that the police now concentrate more on the Okada riders possibly because of the high level of crime rate that now characterize the Okada industry.
It is now common to see police officers and Okada riders engaged in running battles on the streets apart from being engaged in heated quarrels in the full glare of the public.
Sometime ago in Kenema, aggrieved and riotous Okada riders attempted to set ablaze the Kenema police station but were promptly repelled by the vigilant and determined police personnel.
Not too long ago in Kenema again, pupils of the Ahmadiya Muslim Secondary school and Okada riders engaged in a fierce fight that left one person dead and several others injured.
So we are calling on government, more so the police, to put Okada riders under more control.
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