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Opinions of Monday, 27 May 2013

Columnist: Nkansah, Kwame

‘Okada’ Business Still Going on as .....

Police Fails to Deal with the Situation

After earlier series of reports by the media on the use of motorbikes for commercial purpose popularly known as “Okada” and the Ghana police assurance to curb the situation, the problem is left unattended to as no one seem to care about it.

In an interview with some of the riders of these motorbikes and passengers by Afia English, one of the riders said he has been doing this business for almost a year now and a friend who is into it already introduced him to it. When asked how much sales he makes a day, he said when business is good he make from 40 to 60 cedis but below that when business is bad.

Another one said, they use to have problems with the police but now it is normal. He said when they stopped by the police but the passengers would say lie that they have not hire them and that they are related so the police would to let them to go. He further stated that the police have then left them alone because they know that is what they do to carter for their families.

These motorbike riders charge as low as 2 cedis making is affordable to hire one to your destination. This has made the patronage of these ‘okada’ high and it is about time the police did something to stop this operation.

A passenger said he prefers the ‘okada’ because during the rush hour (from 4pm to 7pm) the traffic jam is just too much and the fastest way of getting home is by this ‘okada’. Another lady who gave her name as Pat said, hiring a taxi to her destination was too expensive as compared to the ‘okada’ so she prefers the ‘okada’

But the questions are, should someone engage in an illegal business as Assistant Commissioner of Police, (ACP) Angwubutoge Awuni, Commanding Officer of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) stated in earlier reports just because he wants to take care of his or her family? Has the Ghana police failed to deal with the situation that could lead to disastrous event as most riders and passengers don’t wear helmets to protect them in case of accident?

What is government position on the commercial motorbikes business since officially we have not heard any statement from the government on the use of these motorbikes for commercial purposes?

Should we make these commercial motorbike activities legal and also register them and generate money from them in the form as tax?