Motorcyclists in Jos, Bukuru defy Plateau govt's ban

Commercial Motorcyclists have continued their operations in Jos and Bukuru metropolis of Plateau in spite of the ban by the State Government on May 4.

The State Government had on May 4 banned commercial motorcyclists from operating in Jos and Bukuru.

The Commissioner for Information, Abraham Yiljap, who announced the ban at a news conference, cited the security situation in the state capital as reason for the action.

Mr. Yiljap had said: “the order is with immediate effect and that means the law enforcement agencies will be expected to comply with this law by checking those who might want to disregard it in any way’’. 

He said the government had embarked on the purchase of additional 300 cabs and 500 tricycles for distribution to citizens of the state to ease the transportation problems. 

Checks in the two cities however revealed that security operatives had not started the enforcement of the ban.

The motorcyclists had appealed to the State Government to rescind its decision in order to save them and some of their passengers, who live in remote areas of the town.

Danjuma Yusuf, an operator, told NAN on Sunday that “we are doomed if government goes ahead to enforce the ban.

Mr. Yusuf said that the ban would throw operators into the unemployment market as the palliatives would not go round the 2,000 commercial motorcyclists in the metropolis.

“Our fear is that when they begin the distribution of the tricycles, it will go to those who are not our members,” he said.

Another commercial motorcyclist, Mr Abubakar Abdullahi, said: “I don’t have anything else to do to earn a living apart from this okada business.

“You could imagine what will become the fate of our families if we are asked to stop. What does government wants us to do?’’

At Miango, Patrick Dang, one of the operators, faulted the reasons for the ban, describing it as flimsy.

“The ban is a call for more criminality in the state than solving the insecurity challenges.

“Besides, we have not witnessed any serious threat from the Okada operations in the suicide attacks and disruptions of the peace in the state.’’

Abdullahi Suleiman, who operates along the terminus route, said his problem was where to get money for his children’s school fees.

“I have an aged mother, who has a health challenge and I take care of her from this business.

“Government should have critically monitored and controlled our activities rather than imposing a total ban on our activities.’’

A motorcycle dealer, Mike Ebuziem, said that the outright ban on the operations of commercial motorcyclists was “a direct blow on my business.

“It will send some of us out of business.’’

He appealed to the State Government to reconsider its stand on the ban to allow them to continue their business.

“Some of us have ordered for a large stock of motorcycles into the state. So what are we going to do now,” he asked.

The law banning commercial motorcycle operations in the state capital was passed and signed into law by Gov. Jonah Jang in April 2010.

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