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Warning!

Posted by By BASSEY BASSEY, Calabar on 2008/02/02 | Views: 336 |

Warning!


One of the greatest problems the Cross River State government and the police are facing is how to curb the excesses of the commercial motorcyclists, popularly called okada, especially in the state capital, Calabar.

•Beware of okada in the night

One of the greatest problems the Cross River State government and the police are facing is how to curb the excesses of the commercial motorcyclists, popularly called okada, especially in the state capital, Calabar.

It is very difficult to separate the okada riders from crimes, like murder, theft, handbag and mobile phone snatching, which have become regular crimes in the state capital.
Even with the introduction of the marked vest and the crash helmet by the former Governor, Mr. Donald Duke, these crimes are yet to abate.

Everyday in Calabar, cases are reported to the police on how some men riding on okada snatch women handbags, handsets and sometimes use machetes to butcher innocent people.
Such cases, which are rampant in the Calabar South Local Government Area, almost claimed the life of the state Correspondent of Champion Newspaper, Mr. Tom Moses.

Tom told Daily Sun that he and two other members of his church were returning from a vigil along Mbukpa Road at about 4.30 am when they were accosted by about six men on motorcycles.
"They brought out long machetes and vowed to kill us if we didn’t bring out all the money in our pockets; we gave them everything and had to walk the distance to our houses. Immediately they collected everything, they climbed their motorcycles and rode off in high speed.

The Champion correspondent, who is also the chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in the state, admitted that he was visibly shaken by the encounter.
In another incident, a senior staffer with the state’s Ministry of Lands and Surveys, Mr. Charles Effiom, said he was returning home after visiting a friend at about 10.00 pm and took an okada along Goldie Street. When the got to Goldie Roundabout, the okada rider pretended as if his motorcycle had problem.

"He put of the engine and pretended as if he was trying to locate the fault. The place was very dark and there was no one or houses there. Immediately he did that two men emerged from the bush nearby with machete and stick and hit me very hard on the shoulder.

"I almost fell to the ground, but I quickly braved up and threaten them that I had a gun and that I would shoot the two of them. I put hand in my pocket as if to bring out the gun, when they knew I was serious, they ran across the road and escaped. Meanwhile, the okada man, who I suspect had an arrangement with the two men, rode off at high speed on the same motorcycle he claimed developed a fault."
The chairman of the state’s Motorcycles Regulatory Agency, Mr. Ernest Irek, told Daily Sun that controlling the motorcyclists was difficult.

"The motorcyclists are not the kind of people you handle easily, they rarely take instructions, if not for the fact that the vest and the helmet were introduced, the okada riders would have turned this state into a criminal heaven. The vest with the number written on them has made identification of the criminals among them easy", Mr. Irek said.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.