…….Harps on safety of lives, properties
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Thursday, flagged off the distribution of 15,000 free reflective jackets to commercial motorcycle riders in the state.
The governor said that the exercise is to ensure safety and adequate security of all citizens in the state, noting that security of lives and properties is one of the strategic pillars in the roadmap for sustainable development 2023-2027.
The governor spoke through the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Professor Musibau Babatunde, at the flag-off ceremony organised by the Management Information Centre, Office of the Governor, held at the Western Hall, Secretariat, Agodi Ibadan.
He added that the initiative is to reduce miscreants and all other forms of criminality in the state, who are parading as motorcycle riders but are known for evil deeds.
He noted that the reflective jackets have a unique identifier and a barcode and that each commercial motorcycle riders has been registered with the Oyo State Health Insurance Agency.
He stressed that the first phase of the distribution would be closely monitored and evaluated to know the level of adherence, stressing that non- compliance to wearing of the reflective jackets is punishable.
He said: “If you recollect, one of the strategic pillars of the current administration is security of lives and property of the citizens of the state. Sometimes ago, we brought up the programme of residents registration exercise in the state, which encompasses all the citizens of the state.
“So, to further actualise the process, the governor is also bringing up another initiative towards securing the lives and properties of the citizens of Oyo State by distributing reflective jackets to all commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State.
“15,000 of the jackets have been given free of charge so that we can actually be able to monitor the activities of commercial motorcyclists in the state. Anyone who does not put on this jacket is definitely not a registered Okada rider and should be challenged, and the security agencies should take cognisance of this initiative.
Also, in order to enhance the rule of law, we don’t want Okada riders to be driving against traffic laws.
“There is a unique identifier and a barcode for these jackets and also health insurance. As soon as you scan it, it will give you the Identity of the particular rider.
“So, these are the set of initiatives His Excellency is bringing on board to reduce the heinous activities being carried out in the state.
“We have tried to work together with the stakeholders and leadership of different Okada associations in the state. We have been liaising with them to actually talk to their followers to come out and key into this initiative. We will give them ultimatum and, after that, enforcement will commence. So, we are working together with the leadership to ensure this is effectively done.”
“Basically, we are going to evaluate after the 15,000 jackets we have given to them. We will see if we have genuine deficit that can spur us to produce more to be able to get this done. If we see people are not really getting to key into it, we will give a particular grace period.
“So, after our evaluation, we will know if we need more or not or if we are covered with what we have been able to give out. The position at that point will tell us whether there will be monetary charges or not, he concluded.”
Governor Makinde called for a sustained cooperation between the commercial motorcycle riders and the state government in order to improve the security of the state and its economy.
Earlier in their separate goodwill messages, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade and the Chairman, Oyo State state Traffic Management Agency, Major Adesagba Adekola (rtd), said the motorcycle riders have a major impact on the economy of the state but that necessary cautions must be taken to ensure safety of lives.
They advised them to be law-abiding citizens and to always obey traffic rules, as government would not hesitate to enforce the rule of law on defaulters.
Representatives of the relevant stakeholders in the transportation sector also charged the state government to continue to maintain the friendly environment for their businesses to thrive.
The meeting had in attendance leaders of motorcycle riders across various zones of the state, including Park Management System, Motorcycle Transport Union of Nigeria, MTUN, Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria, ACOMORAN, among others.
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor
January 4, 2024.