Lockdown Ease: Residents Commend FCTA Over Ban on Commercial Motorcyclists

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 Some residents of Bwari Area Council, Abuja, on Tuesday, commended the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) over the ban on Okada (commercial motorcyclists) in some communities.

The News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) reports that the ban was necessitated by the Federal Government’s decision to gradually ease the lockdown amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Bwari Council Secretary, Mr Efi Peter, had on May 4 announced the suspension and ban of Okada operations within Bwari town, Ushafa, Dutse, Kubwa, Byazhin, Dei-Dei, Dawaki and Mpape areas of the FCT as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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A resident of Dutse, Miss Hauwa Makarfi, lauded the decision of FCT Authority to suspend the operations of Okada riders within Dutse Area, describing it as timely.

“Bearing in mind the way residents violated the stay-at-home order by the FG before it was recently eased.

“During the lockdown, most people used Okada here since vehicles were not allowed to move.

“Maybe they don’t know that this virus can easily be contracted through these Okada riders that obviously don’t take precautions.

“I feel it was a smart move by the government and I am really happy by that decision,” she said.

In his own reaction, Mr Emmanuel Sunday, a commuter at Kubwa, who was about to climb an Okada, said although the directive was a sad one for residents in satellite areas, “but it was a welcome development because it will help save lives.

“With the high rate at which the virus is spreading and particularly with figures in the North, it is important we either reduce the use of bikes or we don’t use them at all.

“This is because most of the riders are from either Kano or other states with high coronavirus cases and they still sneak into Abuja.

“Right now, you cannot tell who is a carrier of the virus and who is not, so even if we will have to suffer in their absence we will cope till this is over.”

A roadside food vendor at Dei-Dei junction, Mrs Sarah Effiong, lauded the ban to help curb the spread of the virus due to exchange of money between riders and passengers but noted that intra-community transportation would become difficult.

She said people will have to walk long distances and she could not imagine how she would have to convey her food to the point of sales without Okada.

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