Authorities in the Federal Capital Territory administration have destroyed no fewer than 432 commercial motorcycles, aka Okada, seized from illegal operators.
Okada had been banned in major areas of the Abuja metropolis but commercial riders continue to flout the regulations for brisk business with passengers seeking to beat gridlocks in some highways.
The FCT taskforce and joint enforcement team, on Thursday crushed many confiscated motorcycles at an open space in Lugbe Car Wash, along Airport Road.
The occasion was witnessed by the officials of FCTA, Heads and representatives of various security agencies.
The areas raided included: Bill Clinton interchange, Karon-Majiji, Kuchingoro, Piwoyi Junction near Shoprite mall and Lugbe FHA.
Others were the popular Lugbe car wash as well as the Police signboard, along Airport Road, all in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Reacting to the development, the chairman of taxi operators association, Car Wash Bus Stop, Adebola Oluomo, said, “without the exercise, the road would be closed”, as there were a lot of obstructions due to the activities of the defaulting Okada operators.
He said: “They are always on the expressway riding recklessly against the traffic, and nobody could control them.
“The taskforce was always coming around, but the Okada operators will be stoning them, as they believe that they are the owners of Abuja.
“So, the government should continue with the exercise, as such Abuja will be very clean and the roads will be safe for all.”
Justifying the exercise, the Secretary, FCT Transportation Secretariat, Abdullahi Candido, reiterated that the government would not relent on its sustained efforts to rid the city of the menace.
Mr Candido warned the operators and owners of commercial motorcycles to keep off the major roads of Abuja, especially the city centres and the gateways into the FCT.
Similarly, Director, Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Abdulateef Bello, said the exercise, which was the third in the series of its signature enforcement of the ban Okada operations in the city, was a proof to its zero-tolerance of the menace.
Mr Bello said: “Okada riders’ insistence to operate in the city is no longer a traffic offence, but a serious security breach.
“It required the intervention of the government, hence the involvement of military and paramilitary agencies to effectively tackle it.”