Following the failure of the police to enforce the ban on commercial motorcycles in Ondo State, the state’s Security Network (Amotekun) has swung into action, impounding scores of motorbikes over the flouting of the ban.
A wave of violent crimes hit the state last week, resulting in the killing of some persons, while some were kidnapped.
In reaction to the situation, the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, issued an order banning the operation of commercial motorcycles beyond 6 p.m.
But the operators, in the absence of the police to enforce the ban, have continued in defiance of the order.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that with the reluctance of the police to enforce the order, the state government directed the Amotekun Corps to immediately enforce the order.
Following the directive, many motorcycles have been impounded and their owners arrested for flouting the order.
Some of the okada operators were reportedly arrested while operating in Akure between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The Corps Commander, Adeleye Olatunji, decried the flagrant disregard of the order by the operators.
“We have started impounding the motorcycles of the defaulters who were found to have been operating after the stipulated time because many of them were still violating the government order,” he said.
“We have gone round with megaphone on our patrol vehicles to remind them to stop working beyond 6pm.
“But most of them were adamant and we have no choice than to start impounding their motorcycles.
“We gave them three hours of grace before we began to move round at about 8 p.m. daily and yet some of them were still caught operating till 11 p.m.”
Mr Olatunji warned that his men would continue to impound violators’ bikes in the state to ensure compliance and instil peace in the state.
The Ondo State House of Assembly had earlier raised the alarm over the conduct of the okada operators, saying the act threatened the safety of residents.
The House’s ad hoc committee chairperson on information in the state, Olugbenga Omole, said the upsurge in crime across the state, culminating in the loss of lives and property, forced the restriction of okada operations to 6 p.m. daily.
”We want to use this medium to appeal to Okada riders in Ondo State to please, in the interest of the security of lives and property of our people obey the restriction order,” he said.
He warned that any further violation of the government’s order would be met with appropriate sanctions.
Hoodlums operating on motorbikes were reported to have robbed and killed two persons last week in Akure.
The incidents occurred in Sijuade and at Ologede along Oda Road.
Several cases of kidnapping had also been reported within the last two weeks, raising anxiety on the safety of residents of the state.