By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado Ekiti- No fewer than 5,000 out of the 10,000 members of the Okada Riders Tricycles’ Association of Nigeria(ORTAN), Ekiti chapter, possessed between National Certificate of Education and Bachelor Degrees.
The Association’s State Deputy Chairman, Olusola Isola and Public Relations Officer Sikirulahi Akindipe, said the body has been able to overcome the challenge of reckless riding, leading to killing and maiming of the citizens through their partnership with the police and other security agencies.
Speaking with newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, Isola said the high number of graduates among commercial motorcyclists in the state accounted for why there is orderliness and good conducts within the body .
Isola said, “We have over 10,000 members in all the 42 branches across the state and 5,000 of these population hold at least NCE, with many of them parading Bachelor degrees. This shows that there is high level of unemployment in Nigeria which the government at all levels must address”.
The ORTAN boss appealed to federal government to reduce the cost of machine in Nigeria, saying the least in the market now sold for N320,000, which he described as too outrageous.
He said when noticed that many Ekiti indigenes were being daily maimed by reckless riders, that the association quickly set up a Task Force to effect orderliness among members.
Isola revealed that members, who were alleged of masking at dawn to rob the populace or rape them have been banned through the efforts of the task Force.
“When you are caught riding recklessly or dressed shabbily or cause accident in town, you will be forced to pay a fine of N5,000 and this had helped in checking our people.
“In the past, people just joined us without proper accreditation but before you can ride okada today, you will be properly accredited . You will get the State identity card, association’s membership card
and get the operational logo.
“All these were put in place to authenticate our members and ensure that nobody hides under okada riding to perpetrate ritual killing, rape, robbery or any other criminal tendency”, he added.
On the welfare of members, Isola said: “We are presently building a State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti as part of our efforts to develop our dear state, this we are doing through the N50 will pay daily for operational ticket .
“We used to intervene in the personal welfare of our people. If you have a child that is admitted into high institution and you have no money, we will borrow you. Recently, one of us gave birth to a set of triplets and we intervened in taking care of the baby.
“We have also intervened in treating our members who had accidents by paying their bills. When we realized that same of our members always dress shabbily, we began a process of buying clothes for them which they pay back instalmentally”, he added.
He said it will be difficult to enforce full compliance with the use of tricycle in Ekiti , because of paucity of spare parts, saying introducing this policy will automatically force many of them out of the business
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