Commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as Okada riders have lauded the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) flagbearer, Mr John Dramani Mahama for promising to legalise their operations if voted for again to govern the country in the December 2020 polls.
According to the Okada operators, their business currently provides a source of livelihood to hundreds of persons with several dependants.
The Tema, Kpone-Katamanso, Accra, Kasoa and Ashaiman Okada operators, emphasised that legalising their business will inure to the benefit of both the operators and the government.
Speaking at a press conference held in Ashaiman on Wednesday, 26 September 2020, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Greater Accra Regional Okada Operators Association, Setsoafia Pascal, said: “The business of Okada provides success for more than 800,000 people who engage in this trade. This translates into not less than 2 million depending on this business for livelihood. We believe this call and declaration to legalise and regulate our business is in the right direction…”
The PRO for the Okada operators continued that legalising their operations will also promote road safety.
He stated: “It will ensure safety on our roads, not only for us but to other road users…It is a testament to the huge role we play in ensuring mobility for thousands of people all over Ghana. The regulation will keep us abreast of the requisite safety practices and reduce harassment by security personnel. Note that Okada provides employment and support for more people than any recent employment programme by any government. Legalising and regulating the Okada business will create an added opportunity for the state to rise.”
The operators further noted: “Setting up a safety and training school which will train and licence our members could also help raise funds like what the DVLA does for cars and trucks.”
The operators also pledged their support for any government that will support their business.
“We call on our members and their dependents and clients and everyone who values the service we render to show up and vote massively for who has shown the care and not those who say one thing in opposition. And any other government that comes and is ready to support us, we’re ready to help them”.
The NDC flag bearer, John Mahama during a tour of the Volta Region, promised to legalise the operations of Okada riders.
Okada riders have on numerous occasions been arrested by security forces on the roads, for posing danger to other road users and to their passengers due to their recklessness.
Also, several crimes have been noted to have been committed using motorcycles.