Okada Riders Surrender
Okada riders in Bo City were recently banned from plying the roads for several days. The ban came after a violent confrontation between the riders and the law enforcement agents-the police and traffic wardens.
The story goes that a traffic warden (name unidentified) was chastising a defaulting Okada Rider who crashed to death by the former GTZ office along the Bo-Kenema Highway. Aggrieved Okada riders reportedly went on the rampage and vandalized the residence of the Vehicle Examiner, South, Mr. Biango. I also gathered that even the Resident Minister, South, Muctaru Conteh, escaped death by the Skin of his teeth when rampaging Okada riders blockaded him and rained stones on his vehicle. Had the minister not a swift driver, he would have been a dead man by now.
The unfortunate incident resulted in the incarceration of some rioters; some were jailed for ten years with an alternate fine of ten million Leones while some went down for six years with an alternate fine of six million Leones.
The ban humbled the Okada riders who ended up begging for mercy and acknowledging the supremacy of the law. The AIG, South, David Sesay, deserves accolade for humbling the recalcitrant and riotous Okada riders into submission.
But the ugly incident taught me two lessons; that lawlessness can never be the best way to seek redress and that the OKADAS or commercial motorbikes have almost become the life wire of this nation, especially the provinces.
During the days when the OKADAS were not in operation, people were languishing; school pupils could not go to school on time, business people could not reach their shops on time, pedestrians multiplied dramatically and taxi and ‘poda-poda’ drivers capitalized on the situation to exploit the masses.
So, in as much as the law is supreme, the Okada riders are very crucial to the socio-economic development of the people. I end this piece by advising the Okada riders to respect the law and the law enforcers to respect the role played by Okada riders in developing this nation.
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